Drugstore giant CVS is now selling a generic version of the embattled EpiPen, rivaling Mylan’s life-saving allergy treatment at around one-sixth of the EpiPen’s price. This comes just a few months after Mylan underwent a congressional hearing due to the extreme inflation in its allergy pen prices.
CVS says it will begin charging $109.99 for a two-pack of the approved generic Adrenaclick, a lesser-known but equally effective treatment. This is far below the current $600 tag on EpiPens, the Los Angeles Times reports.
CVS Health Corp., America’s second-largest drugstore chain, says it cut the price for Adrenaclick in half.
There are around 9,600 retail CVS pharmacies across the country, including several inside Target stores.
These allergy treatments are stocked by schools and parents of kids with severe allergic reactions, used as emergency devices to stop anaphylaxis. Adrenaclick, like the EpiPen, are filled with the hormone epinephrine, and expire after a year. This means that patients must fill new prescriptions all the time, even if the old devices are never used.
Last summer, Mylan was put under the spotlight after consumers complained about its EpiPen prices, which soared over 500% since 2007. A congressional panel grilled Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, about the issue, which she has blamed on insurers, and everyone else in the production chain from manufacturer to customer.
Other pharmaceutical executives were likewise called in to explain the sharp rise in drug prices that often force patients to forego prescriptions, or go into debt.
CVS says its new price for Adrenalick generic applies both to insured and uninsured patients – it’s what customers will pay at the counter. This price is lower by far than other prices listed on websites that compare retailers.
The maker of the device, Impax Laboratories Inc. in California, also has a coupon program for the generic treatment that can provide more price breaks for qualified buyers.