Healthcare

Mylan to offer cheaper version of EpiPen after outcry

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Mylan, the company that makes EpiPens, announced Monday that it will soon offer a cheaper, generic version of the device in response to an uproar over price increases. 

{mosads}The company said the generic version, which will be identical to the branded product, will cost $300 for a pack of two, less than half of the current cost. 

The product will be available in “several weeks,” the company said. 

“We understand the deep frustration and concerns associated with the cost of EpiPen® to the patient, and have always shared the public’s desire to ensure that this important product be accessible to anyone who needs it,” Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement. 

She added that the decision to launch a generic version is an “extraordinary commercial response.”

The move comes in response to a backlash to the product’s price, which had risen more than 400 percent in recent years. EpiPens are widely used to treat serious allergic reactions. 

Lawmakers in both parties had pressed the company for answers, and some had called for hearings. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton called on the company to lower the price. 

Mylan last week announced that it would offer discounts to some consumers, but that move was widely criticized by lawmakers as inadequate because it did not lower the overall price of the device. 

Lawmakers continued to press the company for answers even after the announcement on Monday. Reps. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee, asked the company for a range of documents related to its pricing on Monday. 

Meanwhile, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) wrote to the Food and Drug Administration asking about the review process for approving generic competitors, highlighting a possible Republican response to high drug prices. 

This story was updated at 1:03 p.m.

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