Amidst the recent drama surrounding EpiPen prices, we finally have some good news for epinephrine auto-injectors. The expensive Epipen, and EpiPen Jr, will soon have more competition!
In 2017, manufacturer Kaleo will be re-releasing Auvi-Q, their brand of the epinephrine auto-injector. Auvi-Q was pulled from the market last year, but Kaleo has bought back the rights, and plans to release the alternative auto-injector within the next year.
Why was Auvi-Q removed from the market?
Last year, Sanofi, one of the manufacturers of Auvi-Q, pulled the injectable off the market after reports that it delivered an inadequate amount of epinephrine when administered. However, the agreement between Sanofi and Kaleo has ended, allowing Kaleo to return Auvi-Q to the market.
Recently, Kaleo has worked to ensure that Auvi-Q will be more reliable. They have received approval from the FDA, and have revamped the manufacturing process, making it an “intelligent, high-tech, 100-percent robotic production line.”
Will Auvi-Q be similar to the EpiPen?
Yes! Both the EpiPen and Auvi-Q will be used to counteract anaphylaxis through an intramuscular injection to the thigh.
There are a couple of differences, though. First off, around the size of a credit card, the Auvi-Q is smaller than the EpiPen. More importantly though, the Auvi-Q has a voice-prompt system that can guide patients through the epinephrine delivery process. So, even if you have never used an auto-injector, Auvi-Q can step you through administering it properly!
When will it be available?
According to the manufacturers, Auvi-Q could be back on the market as soon as early 2017.
Is this good news for my pocketbook?
Ideally, yes! Some are hopeful that adding competition to the epinephrine auto-injector market will drive prices down. Mylan, EpiPen’s manufacturer, has controlled around 95% of the U.S. epinephrine auto-injector market, allowing them to significantly raise prices. Adding competition to this market should help auto-injector costs stabilize.
Although Kaleo hasn’t discussed the exact retail price, they have alluded to a low out-of-pocket cost for Auvi-Q. In a recent press release, manufacturers discussed that they “are working with various stakeholders…to ensure that all patients regardless of insurance coverage, have affordable access to Auvi-Q.” You can read more of this press-release here.
Where can I get more information?
To learn more about Auvi-Q, visit their website here.
Tori Marsh is GoodRx’s junior medical editor and consumer savings expert.