A new generic version of Epipen will be released by Mylan next week. Mylan has received sharp criticism after the company increased the price several times over the past few years. According to drug industry watchdogs and congress, the price of a two-pack EpiPen was only $100. Today, the price is $600.
Mylan stated in August 2016 that they would be introducing a generic EpiPen for $300. Most people are able to get all or part of the cost of the EpiPen covered by their insurance. However, patients who do not have insurance often have to pay the entire cost out-of-pocket.
Mylan will continue to make the brand version of Epipen. However, they stated that the generic has the same function and ingredients as the brand name one. The generic version is labeled Epinephrine Injection, USP Auto-Injectors. Patients have the option of choosing from two dosages, 0.15 milligrams and 0.3 milligrams.
Epinephrine is used to counteract the effects of anaphylactic shock, which can be deadly. The drug is injected directly into the thigh. People have stated that Mylan is an example of a large problem that is going on inside of the pharmaceutical industry. Heather Bresch is the CEO of Mylan. She has stated that patients are concerned about the rising cost of prescription drugs. Many patients are struggling to pay for their medication.
Heather has also stated that the system that is place to pay for medication is complex and outdated. People do not want an explanation. They want a solution to the problem. That is why they decided to offer a generic version of EpiPen for half the price to make sure that people could afford it.
Kaleo Pharmaceuticals, which is a Mylan competitor, recently announced that they will be bringing Auvi-Q Epinephrine back in 2017. It works similarly to the Epipen. It was taken from the market back in 2015 after there were reports of it not being as effective as the Epipen.
Because Mylan now has its own genetic Epipen, it will be able to compete with Teva Pharmaceuticals. This company released announced that it will also be releasing a generic EpiPen. It is expected to be released in 2017.
Mylan has also been criticized for classifying the EpiPen as a generic treatment. This resulted in the company given fewer rebates to state-funded health programs. The United States government has investigated this matter. Mylan has agreed to pay $465 million.
Even though Heather has admitted that the drug prices are outrageous, she has taken the blame off of her company. She said that the middlemen are the reason that the drug prices are so high. She also stated that her company only made $50 from each Epipen.
Heather has also pointed the blame at someone else she feels is responsible. She stated that pharmacy managers negotiate with the insurers. Drug companies will pay companies for the rebates. A portion of this money will go to the pharmaceutical managers.
Before Mylan decided to offer the generic EpiPen, they offered discount coupons. However, that did not silence the criticism. They are hoping that the newer, lower-price version of the drug will help people feel better about the company.
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