Mylan Pharmaceuticals spent the past decade raising the price of the EpiPen from $57 to $600. Why? Because they could. The company didn’t have any real competition. And now one competitor, Teva Pharmaceuticals, a company that has tried and failed to bring a generic EpiPen to market before, says that their product won’t be ready until late 2017 or even 2018.
Reuters notes that Sigurdur Olafsson, Teva’s head of global generic medicines, had requested a meeting with the FDA fairly recently and the company had been rebuffed. But since the media firestorm of the past two weeks, “the FDA has come back to us and we will have a meeting very, very quickly.”
Teva’s previous attempts to make a generic EpiPen hit snags in testing when the device wasn’t working as intended. The FDA cited “major deficiencies” in their generic, leading Teva to go back to the drawing board.
Mylan has announced that their own generic will be available soon, which is a bit funny, since they’re basically exposing how ridiculous our current system is. When you peel off the EpiPen™ label and replace the exact same product with a Generic Name™ label, it magically costs half as much.
What’s half of $600 retail for a life-saving drug? That’d be $300. All for about $1 worth of injectable medicine and a different label on the package.
We have no idea what Teva will price their generic EpiPen at, but hopefully it’ll be something much more reasonable. Even returning prices to the 2007 range of $57 would be nice, since they haven’t changed a damn thing about the product. But we’ll have to wait until late 2017 or 2018 to see. Pending FDA approval, of course.