Mylan, the maker of the epinephrine injection device EpiPen, announced Monday it will be providing a generic version for half the price.
Following outcry from the public and government officials, Mylan said the new generic device would be available to the public in a few weeks and be “identical to the existing product,” according to The New York Times.
The price of this generic EpiPen is around $300, a 50 percent decrease from the current price of $600. The EpiPen, to put those figures in context, cost just $100 in 2008, reports Business Insider. Epinephrine, the drug inside the EpiPen, costs just $1 to make and is already generic.
This decision comes a week after Mylan announced some price cuts for the out-of-pocket cost of the EpiPen. That decision did not squelch public anger, and the recent decision to move to a generic version is the latest maneuver by Mylan to save face.
Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan and daughter of Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, released a statement Monday saying, “We understand the deep frustration and concerns associated with the cost of EpiPen® to the patient, and have always shared the public’s desire to ensure that this important product be accessible to anyone who needs it. Our decision to launch a generic alternative to EpiPen® is an extraordinary commercial response.”
The new $300 generic is still some three times higher than the price of the EpiPen in 2007.
Experts note that while drug companies sometimes offer generic versions, it usually occurs “to undercut an outside generic competitor,” the Times reports. Since Mylan basically has a monopoly on epinephrine injection devices upheld by the FDA, the move to provide a generic version is unusual. (RELATED: The Price Explosion For EpiPen’s Is Linked To One Key Gov’t Decision)
Experts estimate the revenue per device would be cut by 25 percent, but the move is smart in light of public perception.
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