On December 16th, Mylan announced that epinephrine, the generic for the expensive EpiPen auto-injector, will be available in pharmacies this week.
Over the past couple of months, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of EpiPen, has been criticized for increasing the price of the epinephrine auto-injector by 400% since 2007, to about $600. In response to the criticism, Mylan announced in September 2016 that they would be releasing a generic.
What are the upsides to the EpiPen generic?
- First off is cost. With more options available, we expect that prices may become more affordable! Mylan will also be offering a $25 discount card on the new generic for insured patients. Hopefully this will mean less sticker shock at the pharmacy!
- This is also good news for coverage. We expect that the new generic will likely be covered under your lowest insurance tier, which means lower out-of-pocket costs for you!
- It will also be easy to use! For those of you who are used to using EpiPen, the generic auto-injector works the same way. This means that you won’t need to learn how to use a new type of injector.
- You can still save on brand name EpiPen if you do not want to change.
- If you would rather use brand name EpiPen, the manufacturer has some options to help consumers save. However, keep in mind that you have to qualify for these savings.
- Mylan has a co-pay card for EpiPen that can reduce co-pays to as little as $0 for eligible patients. This card is for commercially insured patients only, and patients paying out of pocket are not eligible.
- Mylan also offers a need-based patient assistance program for EpiPen users. Most people without insurance and with limited incomes will qualify. You will need a valid prescription and proof of household income. Be prepared to complete paperwork, get signatures from yourself and PCP, and adhere to mandates.
If the generic still offer the best price for you, keep in mind that it is an authorized generic which means that it is essentially the same medication as the brand.