Mylan tries again to quell pricing outrage by offering generic EpiPen

Mylan has been under fire for steadily raising the price of the device from about $100 in 2008 to about $600 now.

The company reduced the out-of-pocket costs of EpiPen for some patients on Thursday, but kept the list price at about $600, a move that US lawmakers and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said was not enough. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., questioned those strategies.

The senators said in a letter Tuesday that price hikes of more than 500 per cent have jeopardized access to emergency allergy shots for many Americans.

EpiPen has a 94 percent market share for auto-injector devices, which jab a dose of the drug epinephrine into the thigh to counter unsafe allergic reactions such as to peanuts, other foods and bee stings.

What's more, the $300 price for a two-pack of the generic "is still three times higher than the cost of the branded EpiPen in 2007", the letter said. People usually keep multiple EpiPens handy at home, school or work, but the syringes, prefilled with the hormone epinephrine, expire after a year.

Some politicians have called for: Congressional hearings on the escalating pricing, an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, and action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to increase competition by hastening approvals of competitors' products, the AP reported.

Political figures, like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders are also up in arms about the attempt by Mylan to quell the backlash through the generic version.

This comes after Mylan last week offered more financial aid to patients buying EpiPens, including coupon cards for up to $300 off copayments, triple the previous discounts. "In turn, those costs are eventually passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums", the senators wrote. The senators said the company's new generic might not be as readily available to consumers as a product from an independent competitor.

EpiPens have been marketed since the 1980s, and some observers have also questioned why Mylan still holds a patent.

"Parents of children with severe allergies live in fear each day that their children will have an allergic reaction".

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