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New EpiPen Competitor Approved by FDA

Generic alternative should hit the market soon
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2018 2:55 PM CDT
A pharmacist displays a package of EpiPens, an epinephrine autoinjector.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(Newser) – Parents of children with serious allergies may soon get some relief when shelling out for a epinephrine auto-injector. The FDA has approved a generic alternative to Mylan Pharmaceuticals' widely used EpiPen and EpiPen Jr., reports CNN. While other name-brand injectors exist, this one, produced by Teva, is the first approved non-brand option. "This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option," FDA chief Scott Gottlieb, "as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages."

As the AP notes, Mylan caught serious heat in 2016 when it jacked up the price of a two-pack to $600, or five times what it cost 10 years before. Israel-based Teva says it plans to launch the product as soon as possible, though it provided no specifics about a date or a possible price. Mylan has its own generic version of the device on the market for $300 per two-pack, and CNBC says the price probably won't drop substantially below that until multiple approved generics hit the market. (Mylan's CEO had to fend off comparisons to Martin Shkreli.)

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