Cheap generic alternative to EpiPen on market

accreditation
iStock

CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was taken to task before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.

Potentially fatal reactions

The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 (±R1,500) for a two-pack of the authorised generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600 (±R8,000).

Read: Food allergy mimics: alcohol, food and meds reactions

CVS Health Corp., the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, says it cut the price of the generic version of Adrenaclick nearly in half. The lower price is now available at all CVS stores. The chain runs about 9,600 retail pharmacies in the United States, including several locations inside Target stores.

The emergency treatments are stocked by schools and parents of children with severe allergies. They are used to stop anaphylaxis, the potentially fatal allergic reactions to insect bites and stings and foods like nuts and eggs.

The syringes are filled with the hormone epinephrine, and they expire after a year. That often forces patients to fill new prescriptions even if they never used the old one.

The fall of the EpiPen

Mylan NV began taking heat late last summer for its EpiPen pricing, which climbed more than 500 percent since 2007. A Congressional panel grilled CEO Heather Bresch in September about the soaring cost, which she has blamed in part on insurers, pharmacy benefits managers and other middlemen that stand between the drugmaker and the customer.

Mylan has since expanded the financial aid it offers customers and launched its own authorised generic in December, priced at $300 per two-pack.

But patients with no health insurance or plans that make them pay a high deductible before covering care can be exposed to the full price of the drug if they aren't aware of that financial aid or if they don't seek it.

CVS says the new price it is charging for the Adrenaclick generic applies to both insured patients and those who pay cash without coverage. It's what customers will pay at the pharmacy counter.

Read More:

EpiPen may cause serious injuries in kids

New tactic to tackle peanut allergies

Misunderstanding food labels could be deadly for allergy sufferers

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
8% - 409 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
59% - 2957 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
30% - 1534 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 143 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.60
+0.1%
Rand - Pound
20.04
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
16.95
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.55
+0.4%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.2%
Gold
1,795.33
+0.4%
Silver
20.53
-0.7%
Palladium
2,230.00
-0.6%
Platinum
937.00
-0.9%
Brent Crude
96.65
+1.8%
Top 40
63,771
0.0%
All Share
70,266
0.0%
Resource 10
65,045
0.0%
Industrial 25
85,829
0.0%
Financial 15
15,741
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE