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CVS Debuts Cheap EpiPen Alternative

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On Thursday, leading drug store chain CVS Health Corp. (CVS - Free Report) announced that it is now selling a cheaper alternative to Mylan’s EpiPen, the best-selling but high-cost treatment for life-threatening allergies.

Dubbed Adrenaclick, the authorized generic treatment is made my Impax Laboratories Inc. , and is priced at $109.99 for a two-pack. Adrenaclick is an epinephrine auto-injector that was approved by the FDA in 2003. In comparison, the EpiPen costs $649.99, while its own authorized generic comes in at $339.99. Adrenaclick costs about a sixth of the price of the EpiPen.

“As a health care company focused on helping people on their path to better health, we recognized that there was an urgent need in the marketplace for a less expensive epinephrine auto-injector for patients with life-threatening allergies,” CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said in a statement.

We all remember the controversy surrounding Mylan’s EpiPen last year, when it was discovered that the pharma giant had hiked the price of the drug six-fold over the last several years; CEO Heather Bresch faced a congressional committee over the issue.

The emergency allergy treatments are stocked in schools and carried by parents of children, and are used to stop anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction. The high cost, however, makes the treatment incredibly expensive for consumers, especially those without insurance.

The $109.99 price will be applied to both patients who have insurance and those who pay cash, and some patients will even qualify for a coupon program that would market $100 per pack for ArdrenaClick, notes MarketWatch.

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