Mylan To Start Selling $300 Generic EpiPen Pack Next Month

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Under pressure to reduce the price of its expensive EpiPen emergency allergy treatment, drugmaker Mylan said in August that it would be introducing a generic version of the drug at half the retail price. Now it looks like the less-costly epinephrine auto-injector will be hitting the market after Thanksgiving.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the generic epinephrine pack — which will sell for about $300 for a two-pack — is expected to launch during the first part of December, weeks before the likely relaunch of the Auvi-Q drug. That injector was pulled from the market in 2015 over concerns about incorrect dosing.

The announcement came during an earnings call led by CEO Heather Bresch on Wednesday, in which she revealed that the company would take a loss of $119.8 million for the most recent quarter.

The loss is the result of a 4% sales decrease of the traditional $600 EpiPen, the WSJ reports, as well as the company’s $465 million settlement to resolve allegations that Medicaid overpaid the drug company — a deal that did not include an admission of wrongdoing by the company.

Mylan first announced it would create a generic version of the EpiPen emergency allergy treatment back in August, shortly after it began to face scrutiny for the steep increase in the drug’s price.

At the time, Mylan said the generic epinephrine shot would be identical in every way to the more expensive EpiPen, and would be sold in two strengths (.15 mg and .30 mg).

The drug, which was initially supposed to be available in a “several weeks,” will come listed at $300 for a pack of two. While that’s half the price of the more expensive medication, it’s three times what the drug cost only eight years ago.

The move to placate customers and lawmakers wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms, however. Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) said the pharmacy company’s actions didn’t make up for the years in which customers were saddled with the exorbitant cost of the EpiPen.

“Myl‎an may appear to be moving in the right direction, but its announcement raises as many questions as solutions,” Blumenthal said at the time, “including why the price is still astronomically high, and whether its action is a preemptive strike against a competing generic.”

The imminent launch of the generic version of the EpiPen two-pack comes as competitor Auvi-Q, which recalled all of its products last year over dosage concerns, announced it would return its product to the market in the first half of 2017.

It’s unclear what the Auvi-Q injector will cost. However, prior to its recall, the medication sold for about $500, putting it in line with the traditional EpiPen. The Auvi-Q brand has also changed hands since its recall, with manufacturing rights going back to Kaléo.

In addition to Auvi-Q’s planned return to the market, pharmaceutical maker Teva is reportedly working on a potential competitor for the EpiPen.

Teva’s product was initially delayed by an intellectual property lawsuit filed by Mylan (a lawsuit that is at the center of a separate antitrust investigation by the West Virginia attorney general), only to have the FDA reject that product in early 2016 for “major deficiencies.” Teva says it is trying again and hopes to have the item available before 2018, though there is no guarantee that will happen or that Teva, which recently sought to acquire Mylan, would price its product significantly lower than EpiPen.

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