Mylan announces discount generic EpiPen following backlash

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Discounted EpiPen: Cheap, but is it cheap enough?

Mylan N.V. announced Monday it would release a generic version of its EpiPen auto-injector – costing $300 – following recent public backlash regarding its drug prices. This cost is a more than 50 percent discount from the list price of the branded product.

The drug company had previously been justifying its price hike decisions for the brand, notes USA Today, which grew from approximately $100 in 2009 to around $600.

"The launch of a generic EpiPen, which follows the steps we took last week on the brand to immediately reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs, will offer a long-term solution to further reduce costs and ease the burden and complexity of the process on the patient," Mylan CEO Heather Bresch says in a statement.

More on the EpiPen pricing debate

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FILE PHOTO -- EpiPen auto-injection epinephrine pens manufactured by Mylan NV pharmaceutical company for use by severe allergy sufferers are seen in Washington, U.S. August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg/File Photo
EpiPen auto-injection epinephrine pens manufactured by Mylan NV pharmaceutical company for use by severe allergy sufferers are seen in Washington, U.S. August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Boxes of Mylan NV's EpiPen 2-Pak allergy shots sit on display for a photograph at a pharmacy in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. In response to intense criticism over the past few days, Mylan NV moved Thursday to expand assistance programs that help patients with high out-of-pocket expenses -- but didn't go as far as cutting the treatment's list price. Health insurers and U.S. lawmakers criticized the effort as an attempt to cover a 400 percent price hike that won't make the drug more affordable. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mylan NV's logo is displayed on a box of EpiPen 2-Pak allergy shots at a pharmacy in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. In response to intense criticism over the past few days, Mylan NV moved Thursday to expand assistance programs that help patients with high out-of-pocket expenses -- but didn't go as far as cutting the treatment's list price. Health insurers and U.S. lawmakers criticized the effort as an attempt to cover a 400 percent price hike that won't make the drug more affordable. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mylan NV's EpiPen allergy shots sit on display for a photograph in Princeton, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. In response to intense criticism over the past few days, Mylan NV moved Thursday to expand assistance programs that help patients with high out-of-pocket expenses -- but didn't go as far as cutting the treatment's list price. Health insurers and U.S. lawmakers criticized the effort as an attempt to cover a 400 percent price hike that won't make the drug more affordable. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
This August 24, 2016 photo taken in Hudson, Wisconsin shows a youngster holding Epipens, that he uses to counteract allergic reactions. A five-fold price hike for EpiPen, which allergy sufferers use to counteract life-threatening reactions, has made Mylan the newest drugmaker to come under attack in the United States for profiteering. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which holds a near-monopoly position on the epinephrine injectors used by millions against severe allergic attacks, was assailed by two powerful US senators for pumping up the price over six years from $100 to more than $500. That has rendered EpiPens unaffordable to many sufferers -- who must replace them each year -- and is costing the government huge sums to stock schools with them and fund insurance programs which pay for them, the lawmakers said Monday. / AFP / Lucas TRIEB (Photo credit should read LUCAS TRIEB/AFP/Getty Images)
This August 24, 2016 photo taken in Hudson, Wisconsin shows Epipens, used to counteract allergic reactions. A five-fold price hike for EpiPen, which allergy sufferers use to counteract life-threatening reactions, has made Mylan the newest drugmaker to come under attack in the United States for profiteering. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which holds a near-monopoly position on the epinephrine injectors used by millions against severe allergic attacks, was assailed by two powerful US senators for pumping up the price over six years from $100 to more than $500. That has rendered EpiPens unaffordable to many sufferers -- who must replace them each year -- and is costing the government huge sums to stock schools with them and fund insurance programs which pay for them, the lawmakers said Monday. / AFP / Lucas TRIEB (Photo credit should read LUCAS TRIEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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The generic product will come in a two-pack carton in 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg options, and the company says it will still market and distribute the branded version.

This decision from Mylan follows Imprimis Pharmaceuticals (IMMY) saying it could potentially retail a separate allergy treatment option in the coming months, with two injectors costing about $100, reports the Associated Press. While Mylan doesn't face too much rivalry when it comes to EpiPen, other companies are lurking and seeking U.S. approval in both brand and generic EpiPen forms.

This latest pharmaceutical industry controversy is just one in a series of incidents this year – many due to "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli, the ex-pharma executive that faced an indictment for securities fraud. Fortune points out he even had some choice words on the Mylan matter just a few days ago, though his true motives remain unclear.

Mylan's stock spiked up nearly 1 percent on Monday, although it is down 24 percent on the year.

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