CVS has announced that it would sell a generic version of an EpiPen competitor at a far lower price than that of the controversial EpiPen.
The nation's largest drugstore chain announced on Thursday that it would sell the generic version of Impax Laboratories' Adrenaclick treatment for life-threatening allergic reactions.
Cheaper And Safe Alternative To The Pricey EpiPen
CVS' move is apparently a bid to offer consumers a more affordable but safe alternative to Epipen amid the skyrocketing cost of Mylan's controversial epinephrine autoinjector and following Trump lambasting drugmakers on Wednesday, Jan. 11, for the hikes in drug prices.
Epipen delivers epinephrine, a synthetic adrenaline that can counter the potentially deadly effects of severe allergic reactions. People suffering from food allergies rely on Epipens for life-saving treatment, but the price of the autoinjector has swollen over the past years, making it too prohibitive for some families.
In 2009, a two-pack Epipens costs only around $100, but the price has since skyrocketed to more than $600. In an effort to save, some Americans resorted to using do-it-your-own alternatives that, when used incorrectly, can have serious and even deadly consequences.
Mylan, in an effort to appease the public's resentment over the pricey cost of its autoinjector, said that it would start selling a generic version of the EpiPen for $300 per two-pack, which is more than 50 percent cheaper than the price of the regular Epipen.
Adrenaclick is a lesser-known epinephrine delivery product that was green-lighted by the Food and Drug Administration in 2003. Regulators do not consider it as an exact copy of the EpiPen, but it contains the same active ingredient found in Mylan's autoinjector. Adrenaclick administers the drug through a slightly different injection.
CVS said that it would offer the authorized generic of Adrenaclick two-pack at $109.99 for insured and cash-paying patients without insurance, which means that it would be offered at about 80 percent of the current EpiPen price. The price of generic Adrenaclick remains cheaper even when compared with that of the generic version of EpiPen.
Additional Discounts With Coupon Programs
Additional cost reductions for the generic Adrenaclick can also be availed by qualified patients who use the coupon programs offered through Impax that would provide a benefit of $100 per pack.
"We are thrilled to work with CVS Health to increase access to our low-cost generic Adrenaclick epinephrine auto-injector," said Douglas Boothe, president of Generics Division at Impax Laboratories. "Families need and deserve an affordable option to treat severe allergies."
CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes said that Medicaid and Medicare plan members won't qualify for the $100 coupon, but CVS pharmacists will work with customers to determine the cheapest route to acquire the treatment.
Foulkes said that the company responded after hearing streams of concern from customers complaining about the price increases of EpiPen.
"Our focus has always been on finding solutions for patients first and foremost," Foulkes said. "The best thing that can happen to keep drug prices low is to have a lot of competition in the marketplace."