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New EpiPen Generic Approved In Response to Concerns Over Pricing

by Elizabeth Davis on August 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

In response to criticisms over EpiPen pricing, manufacturer Mylan will be offering an authorized generic alternative sometime in Fall 2016.

For more background on EpiPen pricing, and other less-expensive alternatives, see the previous GoodRx articles on EpiPen here and here.

Here’s what you need to know about the new EpiPen generic.

How much will the new generic cost?

Mylan has said that the new generic will have a list price of $300, about 50% of the cost of brand name EpiPen.

When will the new EpiPen generic be in pharmacies?

As of August 2016, the manufacturer estimates that it will be several weeks before you will be able to fill a prescription for generic EpiPen. The generic release is currently waiting on some labeling changes, but if all goes well you should see it in pharmacies soon.

What can I do to save in the meantime?

You have a few options:

  • Adrenaclick‘s authorized generic epinephrine is available for as low as $150 with a GoodRx discount. There is also a co-pay card for the generic that could reduce your cost by $300—again, to as low as $150 depending on where you fill.
  • Brand name EpiPen also has a co-pay card available. Mylan just increased the savings per fill from $100 to $300. This should help, especially if you have prescription insurance with a lower co-pay. However, if you’re paying cash, your out of pocket cost for EpiPen or EpiPen Jr would still be at least $300, even with the card.
  • Keep your coverage in mind if you have insurance. Generic Adrenaclick may have a much lower co-pay (Tier 1) vs brand name Adrenaclick or EpiPen (Tier 2) on many plans.

Using an expired epinephrine pen is NOT a good way to cut costs. Epinephrine pens usually expire about a year from when you fill your prescription, and they do get less effective over time. If the medication in your pen is discolored or has visible particles, you’ll want to throw it out immediately—don’t use it.

Will there still be ways to save on brand name EpiPen?

Mylan has said that the EpiPen co-pay card will remain available. This is good news, because many manufacturers drop this kind of discount program after a generic is released. The current co-pay card expires on 12/31/2016, but could be renewed to last at least another year.

Mylan will also launch a direct shipping program for both EpiPen and the EpiPen generic that will let you order straight from the manufacturer at the new discounted price.

If you are eligible, Mylan will also continue to offer need-based financial assistance for EpiPen.

How does this compare to prices for other new generics?

At 50% of the cost of brand name EpiPen, the new epinephrine pen will offer better savings than many other new generic releases. Most start at around 80% of the brand name price, and will decrease from there.

Some food for thought though—even at a 50% discount, the new generic will still be three times the cost of EpiPen before prices started to increase (from $100 for a two-pack in 2007).

What are the upsides of the new EpiPen generic?

  • Cost. The cash price with no discounts or insurance coverage will be the lowest of any epinephrine pen out there ($300 vs $400 – $450 for the next lowest, the Adrenaclick generic). You may still be able to get a better price elsewhere using a discount.
  • Coverage. If you have insurance, the new generic will likely be covered under your lowest tier or least expensive co-pay. Brand name EpiPen and Adrenaclick tend to be Tier 2 or preferred brands, with higher out of pocket costs for you.
  • Ease of use. If you already use EpiPen, you won’t need to learn how to use a new autoinjector. Mylan has said that the device functionality will be identical in the brand and generic.

Are there any downsides?

Cost again. It will still pay to compare your options. Depending on your coverage and the discounts you use, the Adrenaclick generic will remain the least expensive for now.

Is there anything else I should know?

You may need a new prescription to get the new generic. Depending on where you live, your pharmacist may or may not be able to automatically substitute if your original prescription was for EpiPen or EpiPen Jr.

If you want to take advantage of the new savings, ask your doctor to prescribe you generic epinephrine.

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