NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever independent generic version of the EpiPen, a welcome development in the battle against escalating drug prices.
The “independent” part is new because Mylan, the maker of the brand name EpiPen, also makes it’s own so-called “authorized” generic.
Other companies have tried and failed to compete with EpiPens, alleging monopolistic practices by Mylan, reports CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.
This new generic is the first to be deemed the therapeutic equivalent of the EpiPen.
Teva Pharmaceuticals’ FDA approval for its own generic auto-injector of epinehrine as medically equivalent to EpiPens means the new generic can automatically be substituted at the pharmacy for any EpiPen prescription.
Auto-injectors of epinephrine can counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions to bee stings, peanuts and other allergens.
They’ve been the standard treatment for such anaphylactic reactions since 1987, but a little over 10 years ago, the maker started increasing the price from less than $100 for a pack of two injectors to more than $600 today.
A storm of criticism led Mylan to release it’s own half-priced generic.
While the approval comes during back-to-school season when EpiPen sales normally spike, there’s no word yet from Teva on when their generic will be available, what the packaging will be like or how much it will cost.