CVS is stepping up to help consumers frustrated with the EpiPen’s price hike.
The drugstore chain announced Thursday that it reduced the price of an EpiPen alternative, Adrenaclick, to just $110 for a two-pack, compared to $608 for the Mylan-produced EpiPen.
“We recognized the urgent need for a less-expensive epinephrine auto-injector,” CVS says in a press release. “Patients with life-threatening allergies need immediate access to injectable epinephrine. But over time, the brand-name epinephrine auto-injector pens that make it easy to quickly and safely administer the medication have become increasingly expensive.”
The move comes just days after insurance company Cigna said it was dropping coverage for Mylan’s EpiPens. A Cigna spokesperson, Karen Eldred, applauded CVS’ decision in a statement.
“It is positive news for our customers,” said Eldred said, according to NBC News. “The generic version, available now in pharmacies, has the same drug formulation and device functionality as the branded medication, but at a substantial cost savings.”
Mylan is currently under investigation by Congress for raising the price of EpiPen by 500% since they took over production of the life-saving device in 2007. Amid the outcry, Mylan said they would introduce a generic version of the EpiPen, priced at $300 for a two-pack.
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Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told Congress that the company “never intended” for the price of EpiPens to rise to this level, and claims the hike is due to taxes.
Mylan’s main competitor, Auvi-Q, had stopped production in 2015 because of a lack of name recognition compared to the EpiPen. The company announced in October that it would resume production, hoping to provide another epinephrine auto-injector at an affordable price.
“This is personal for us,” Eric Edwards, who created the Auvi-Q with his twin brother after growing up with severe allergies to nuts, eggs and shellfish, told Forbes. “I’m a patient who may have to respond with this product not only for myself but for my child, and we are committed to making sure that Auvi-Q is going to work during an allergic emergency.”