Mylan is releasing a generic version of its emergency allergy treatment EpiPen at half the price of the branded option, the cost of which drew scorn from parents nationwide and spawned Congressional inquiries. The potential cost savings will depend in part on a patient's insurance coverage and qualifications for discount and assistance programs that the drug maker also provides, the AP reports. For Mylan, the benefit from its long-promised generic is more certain: It is expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue while also protecting the drug maker's market share against competition. The company said Friday that it will charge $300 for the generic version of its life-saving injections, which come in a two pack. The generic version will begin to reach retail pharmacies next week.
The list price of an EpiPen two-pack, which is stocked by schools and parents of children with severe allergies, now tops $600, an increase of more than 500% since 2007, when Mylan bought rights to the drug. Mylan has expanded the financial aid it offers to EpiPen customers since the pricing criticism grew, but it hasn't budged on the drug's price. It said in August that it was doubling the limit for eligibility for its patient assistance program, so a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for EpiPens. A company spokeswoman confirmed Friday that the assistance also will apply to the generic version, though critics warn that many customers won't use or qualify for discounts or assistance programs. (Mylan's CEO sold $5 million in stock as the controversy erupted.)