EpiPens will now be available to patients at more affordable rates, thanks to a generic alternative now produced by CVS.
The drug store giant recently announced their plans to sell a cheaper alternative to EpiPens, the life-saving medicine for individuals with severe allergies.
Since 2007, the price of EpiPens skyrocketed and became a topic of debate in healthcare. Rising some 500 percent, the drug’s price caused financial problems for patients since the drug expires yearly yet is a necessary item for individuals with life-threatening insect or food allergies.
CVS plans to sell their EpiPen-alternative for $109.99, which is a dramatic decrease from the the drug’s current pricing around $600.
EpiPens are on standby in schools and the like, and therefore have a consistently high market demand. That factor alone enabled price-gouging, however the lack of market competitors increased the likelihood of skyrocketing prices. CVS is changing that.
The dramatic EpiPen price increases came under attack last year when news outlets reported the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the CEO of the pharmaceutical company that produced the life-saving drug. Mylan, the company responsible for the price-gouging, was lead by Manchin’s daughter Heather Bresch.
"They're all too expensive. So if there is a way to find out that we can deliver it at a better, more economical price, and still have the innovative and creative juices flowing, I guess that makes all these things happen -- you've got to find the balance somewhere," Manchin said regarding his daughter’s involvement in the the EpiPen price-gouging.
Dramatic fluctuations in drug prices are nothing new – especially in the United States.
Last year Martin Shkreli, the entrepreneur and pharmaceutical CEO, came under fire for his involvement with the skyrocketing price of Daraprim.
The drug’s increase from $13.50 per pill to $750 sparked a nationwide debate about pharmaceutical prices in the United States. Daraprim is for patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses including parasitic infections and HIV.
In December, a Express Script announced its plans to sell a $1 alternative to Daraprim in lieu of the Shkreli debate.
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