Over the years, the price of EpiPens have only increased. While severe allergy sufferers used to be able to get the life-saving injectable product for less than $100 back in 2007, a pack of two now costs a hefty $608 today. This prohibitive price makes it tough for many who need the treatment to actually get it—especially since even unused EpiPens need to be replaced every year due to the medicine’s expiration date. But now, for the first time ever, a generic version is finally coming to market.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the generic versions made by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA—which are both for EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto-injectors—ensure individuals are no longer in a life-or-death situation simply because they can’t afford the anaphylaxis-treating hormone epinephrine. “Today’s approval of the first generic version of the most-widely prescribed epinephrine auto-injector in the US is part of our longstanding commitment to advance access to lower cost, safe, and effective generic alternatives once patents and other exclusivities no longer prevent approval,” says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, in a press release. “This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option.”
“This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option.” —Dr. Scott Gottlieb, FDA Commissioner
The generic versions of EpiPen will be able to treat allergic reactions due to culprits like bee stings and nuts, just like the brand-name option. There’s no word yet on how much less expensive it’ll be, but one thing’s for sure: it’s certainly changing the game for the millions of allergy-suffers across the country. Now, instead of just hoping nothing bad happens, more people will be armed with a plan of action in case it does.
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