CVS releases generic competitor to EpiPen, 80 percent cheaper

CVS creates generic equivalent to EpiPen

CVS Health announces a competitive alternative to epipen, offering prices at 1/6 the cost.

"Epipens are essential for those with severe allergies it is a life saving medication absolutely necessary and minutes are essential," said Dr. Lisa Ayoub-Rodriguez with the El Paso Children's Hospital.

The low-cost epinephrine auto-injector option is available at all CVS pharmacy locations at a cash prices of $109.99 for a two-pack. This compares to a cash price of $649.99 for EpiPen and $339.99 for the authorized generic for EpiPen.

Over the past year, nearly 150,000 people signed on to a petition asking for lower cost epinephrine auto-injector option and millions more were active in social media searching for a solution. "As a health care company focused on helping people on their path to better health, we recognized there was an urgent need in the marketplace for a less expensive epinephrine auto-injector for patients with life-threatening allergies," said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy.

The price of $109.99 for the authorized generic of Adrenaclick two-pack applies to both insured and cash-paying patients without insurance. "It's definitely going to make it more accessible to all of our patients," Pediatric Nurse Practicion Cynthia Estrada said. "Especially for those whose insurance don't cover the EpiPen. They now have an alternative when they didn't."

"It is a great inspiration that CVS  and other private companies are coming up and stepping forward to show that they are not going to let the drug companies run the show," Dr. Ayoub-Rodriguez said.

The injector is beneficial for those insured patients who have consumer-directed health plans and have not yet met their deductible for the plan year. Additional cost reductions for the generic Adrenaclick are available for qualifying patients who use the coupon program offered through Impax which provides a benefit of $100 per pack.

"We are thrilled to work with CVS Health to increase access to our low-cost generic Adrenaclick epinephrine auto-injector," said Douglas Boothe, president, Generics Division, Impax Laboratories. "Families need and deserve an affordable option to treat severe allergies."

The authorized generic of Adrenaclick is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved device with the same active ingredient as other epinephrine auto-injector devices. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) includes generic Adrenaclick among therapeutic options in an anaphylaxis emergency action plan.

Although, the price is slashed down by hundreds of dollars, employees in the medical field hope it reduces even further. "It is more reasonable than $600," Estrada said about CVS's new price, adding "but I do hope it goes down further."

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