Cheap EpiPen Alternative Debuts at CVS
JANUARY 12, 2017
People at risk of life-threatening allergic reactions can now turn to the drug store chain CVS for a cheaper alternative of Mylan’s MYL EpiPen – the currently leading but expensive treatment for the fatal attacks.
The generic epinephrine auto-injector Adrenaclick (Impax Laboraties, Inc.) – approved by the FDA in 2003 – now costs $109.99 at CVS for a twin-pack, a fraction of the $649.99 cost for EpiPen.
Until today, Adrenaclick had been difficult to locate, and the few pharmacies that carried it charged nearly as much as they did for EpiPen. The syringes are filled with the hormone epinephrine, which expires after one year – forcing patients to fill new prescriptions even if they’ve yet to use the old one.
CVS Health made its announcement coming on the heels of public outcry over skyrocketing drug costs and President-elect Trump’s attack on pharmaceutical companies.
Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy, commented in a statement, “As a healthcare company focused on helping people on their path to better health, we recognized that there was an urgent need in the marketplace for a less expensive epinephrine auto-injector for patients with life-threatening allergies.”
The new price for Adrenaclick generic will apply to both patients who are insured and those who pay cash without coverage. Impax Laboratories will also offer a coupon program if the patient qualifies.
Officials urge people with existing prescriptions for EpiPen to confer with their doctors that this generic is right for their needs. Also, CVS customers who already have EpiPen prescriptions on file will be able to ask the pharmacist to check with their physicians before making the switch.
For new prescriptions, doctors will now have to specifically prescribe an “epinephrine auto-injector” rather than name a particular brand for patients to have access to the generic.
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