CVS Health Corp. (NYSE:CVS) said today that it will start selling a generic version of Impax Laboratories‘ (NSDQ:IPXL) emergency allergy injection, Adrenaclick. The device is similar to Mylan‘s (NSDQ:MYL) EpiPen, although regulators do not consider the 2 devices to be exactly the same.
The Adrenaclick has a list price of more than $400, but the generic is available at all CVS pharmacy locations for both insured and uninsured patients at a cash price of $109.99.
Impax’s device needs to be assembled by hand, unlike Mylan’s EpiPen. The EpiPen 2-pack has a list price of $649.99, according to Reuters, while Mylan’s newly-launched generic rings in at $339.99.
CVS’ move comes as drug pricing is at the forefront of healthcare policy discussion among lawmakers. Mylan came under fire last year after reports showed that the Canonsburg, Penn.-based company raised the price of its emergency allergy epinephrine injector by 500% since it acquired the product in 2007 from Merck.
Mylan and Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA) have both been named in an ongoing federal investigation into generic drug pricing and 1 day after Mylan launched its 1st generic EpiPen, attorney generals from 20 states filed a civil complaint against Mylan, Teva and 4 other generic drug makers.
Pharmaceutical giants like Mylan have focused the blame for high drug prices on pharmacy benefits managers, such as CVS Caremark. CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes reportedly said the company chose to make Impax’s generic device available after CVS pharmacists heard complaints and concerns from customers over EpiPen’s price increases.
Yesterday, in his 1st formal press conference since he won the presidential election in November, President-elect Donald Trump said that drug prices are too high. “They’re getting away with murder,” he said. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly. We’re going to start bidding, and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time.”