Complaints about the cost of Mylan’s EpiPen are generating a reaction in the health care market. Last week, CVS Pharmacy announced that they will create a competing product – the generic version of Adrenaclick. Adrenaclick will be available in all of their stores at a much lower price than the EpiPen. This is fantastic news for those who need to keep a life-saving dose of epinephrine on hand. However, it’s also an excellent development due to the market’s response to public pressure.
CVS is selling a two-pack of generic Adrenaclick for $109.99. However, they sell the EpiPen two-pack for $649.99 and Mylan’s generic version for $339.99 for each two-pack. Mylan is receiving major criticism for increasing the cost of EpiPen’s by 500 percent in recent years. Members of Congress even expressed their concerns at a hearing last fall.
While announcing the pricing and availability of the generic Adrenaclick, CVS stressed the public demand and “urgent need” for a cheaper alternative to the EpiPen.
CVS and Impax Laboratories, the Adrenaclick generic’s maker, were wise enough to try filling a niche. But without the public pressure, would they have acted so quickly? CVS notes that millions of people were actively on social media searching for a solution. Outrage about overpriced drugs may bring more reasonable prices in the future.
To make the generic Adrenaclick available, CVS and Impax negotiated special pricing allowing them to sell the auto-injector for the lowest price in the market.
Before the exclusive partnership, CVS was selling the generic Adrenaclick two-pack for almost $200. Now, patients get the medication they need for less money, and CVS and Impax get a major public-relations boost. Are they still profiting from sales? Of course. They’ve agreed on a more moderate price to bring consumer attention and gain market shares.
Impax currently assembles the product by hand. However, they plan to automate the process this year, ensuring that supplies will be able to meet their needs. Battling the health care system can be harder than fighting city hall, but this time, the consumers prevailed.