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EpiPen Manufacturer To Offer Half-Priced Generic Version

After jacking up the price of the life-saving medication it lobbied to get in schools nationwide, Mylan, the makers of EpiPen, faced a public relations nightmare. Will offering a generic version for half the cost help repair the PR damage done?

Mylan NV, the drugmaker under fire for pricing its EpiPen emergency allergy shots at $600, said it will introduce a generic version in coming weeks that will halve the price.

The generic EpiPen will be identical to the branded product, including device functionality and drug formulation, and cost $300 per two-pack carton, Mylan said in a statement on Monday. The company also plans to continue to sell the branded version.

Mylan has attracted scrutiny for increasing the treatment’s price to about $600 for a two-pack from $57 for a single pen in 2007. Members of Congress blasted an earlier effort last week to alleviate the cost burden by expanding a patient assistance program.

“Ensuring access to medicine is absolutely the core of Mylan’s mission,” Chief Executive Officer Heather Bresch said in the statement. “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.”

The EpiPen price increases drew particular attention in Washington because Bresch had successfully pushed legislation to encourage use of the EpiPen in schools nationwide. Mylan spent about $4 million in 2012 and 2013 on lobbying for access to EpiPens generally and for legislation, including the 2013 School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Office of the Clerk for the House of Representatives.

Author: Marthe Fourcade

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