Free EpiPen alternative Auvi-Q to hit the markets
By Kayla Britt, MST Editor
This past September, Mylan Specialty, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures EpiPens, was riddled with controversy. The EpiPen is a life-saving drug that, if injected at the right time, treats anaphylactic allergic reactions.
The price of the pharmaceutical drug has skyrocketed to 461 percent of its original cost over the past eight years; in 2007, you could buy a pack of EpiPens for around $100, but today you would have to shell out over $600. The salary of the company’s CEO, Heather Bresch, has increased by 671 percent.
The EpiPen is only one of many prescription drugs that have risen in cost in recent years. Admist the growing frustration and controversy, Congress investigated the EpiPen’s pricing and Mylan’s lobbying efforts. Mylan attempted to remedy the situation by rolling out a coupon and introducing a financial assistance program to low-income patients.
In November, makers of Auvi-Q, a generic version of the EpiPen, reported that it would be returning to the market in 2017. This was significant particularly because Auvi-Q is one of the EpiPen’s only competitors. Recently, it was reported that Auvi-Q would hit the markets by February 14. It was previously recalled due to evidence that it did not always deliver the correct dosage of epinephrine. Although the list price is $360, anyone with health insurance can obtain an Auvi-Q for no cost at all. It will also be free for lower-income individuals: anyone with a household income under $100,000. Essentially, price should no longer be a barrier for individuals purchasing life-saving allergy medication.