Mylan’s Generic EpiPen Cuts Patient Cost in Half

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Amy Kerkemeyer /

Here is some good news for those who suffer from life-threatening allergies: Drugmaker Mylan is launching a half-priced generic version of its popular, — but prohibitively expensive — EpiPen.

Mylan made headlines this fall, when it was reported the company had increased the price of the EpiPen — a medical device that can stop a potentially deadly reaction to a bee sting or some types of consumed food — by a jaw-dropping 400 percent between 2008 and 2016. The price jump triggered a federal probe and widespread criticism from consumers.

Mylan purchased EpiPen from another drugmaker in 2007, when the allergy devices had a wholesale price of roughly $57 each and sold in pharmacies for about $100.

The EpiPens contain about $1 worth of epinephrine. The price for a two-pack of EpiPens today tops $600. According to the Associated Press, Mylan says it will charge $300 for a generic two-pack of the life-saving epinephrine devices.

Although it’s not known how much consumers will actually save by purchasing the generic pens — rather than the brand name EpiPens — the generic devices are a clear boon to Mylan. The AP explains:

The potential [consumer] cost savings will depend in part on a patient’s insurance coverage and qualifications for discount and assistance programs that the drugmaker also provides.
For Mylan, the benefit from its long-promised generic is more certain: It is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue while also protecting the drugmaker’s market share against competition.

The generic EpiPens should hit pharmacy store shelves this week, CBS reports.

For another alternative to EpiPens, check out “$30 ‘EpiPencil’ Is DIY Alternative to EpiPen.”

What do you think about Mylan’s generic alternative to the EpiPen? Sound off below or on Facebook.