NORTH WALES, Penn. (CBSNEWS.COM) – Mylan’s EpiPen, the life-saving and costly allergy treatment, will soon face a generic rival, a first in more than two decades on the market. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday cleared Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to start selling generic versions EpiPen and EpiPen Jr., years after the Israeli drugmaker requested it.
The products are the first generic treatments that compete directly with EpiPen, whose price has soared more than 400 percent in the past decade, and that can be used to replace the brand-name version.
Since acquiring the rights to EpiPen in 2007, when a dose cost about $57,two years ago by hiking the cost of EpiPen to $600 for a two-pack of the auto-injecting pens. After drawing fire from patients and politicians, Mylan offered a generic version of its device for about half the price.
“This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help product against drug shortages,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.