In an attempt to quell some of the drug pricing outrage that has surrounded the EpiPen, Mylan has released the first authorized generic of the device, priced at $300 for a two-pack of epinephrine injectors. According to Mylan, the auto-injector is being sold at a wholesale acquisition cost (WAC), which is over 50 percent less expensive than the WAS of the branded EpiPen.
The authorized generic is expected to hit pharmacies this week, with the same drug formulation and medical device design that users are familiar with. The EpiPen is used to treat anaphylaxis in patients with severe allergies, and has been on the market for almost 30 years.
“Americans are rightfully concerned about rising drug prices, and now more than ever patients and families across this country are standing at the pharmacy counter struggling to pay for their medications,” said Mylan CEO Heather Bresch in a press release issued by the company. “While it is important to understand the outdated and complex system that determines what someone pays for medicine in the U.S., hardworking families don’t need an explanation, they need a solution.
“This is why we took decisive action with our EpiPen product and have launched the first generic version at half the WAC price. This unprecedented action, along with the enhancements we made to our patient access programs, will help patients and provide substantial savings to payors.”
Mylan plans to dedicate a salesforce of 275 representatives to sell the generic EpiPen. The company has also launched a savings card which will provide up to $25 in savings in out-of-pocket costs for eligible patients with commercial health insurance.
“As one of the world’s largest generics companies, our medicines filled one out of 13 of all prescriptions in the U.S. last year – the equivalent of 21 billion doses – which is more than Pfizer, Merck, AstraZeneca, J&J, Sanofi and GSK combined,” continued Bresch. “We will continue to do our part to fight for changes that will make a difference in the lives of patients and remain deeply committed to serving patients in the severe allergy community by working to ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen has access to one.”