The maker of the EpiPen announced today it will start selling a generic of its live-saving allergy treatment for $300 for a two-pack, according to Reuters. Mylan NV has been highly criticized recently for spiking the price of its drug to more than $600 from $100 in 2008.
The EpiPen, which is sold in two-packs due to federal guidelines, delivers a hormone called epinephrine that ends potentially life-threatening allergy attacks. There’s actually less than $1 worth of epinephrine in each EpiPen.
Mylan is hoping to beat its competitors
A generic drug is identical to a brand-name drug in terms of its chemical composition and safety, but costs less. By introducing its own EpiPen generic, Mylan is hoping to beat its competitors, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, which is also developing an EpiPen generic, according to NPR. Mylan’s generic version of the EpiPen will be available at pharmacies starting next week.
The move comes a day after 20 US states filed a lawsuit against generic drugmakers, including Mylan, for inflating drug prices. In August, Mylan had announced that it would offer a savings card to cover as much as $300 of the $600 cost of an EpiPen two-pack for people paying full price.
In September, Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch was also called to testify before Congress because of the exorbitant price increases. At the congressional hearing, Bresch said the company was planning to address public concerns over the EpiPen by producing a cheaper generic.