Mylan (NSDQ:MYL) launched its 1st generic EpiPen emergency allergy treatment 1 day after attorney generals from 20 states filed a civil complaint against Mylan, Teva Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:TEVA), and 4 other generic drug makers. The complaint alleges that the companies co-conspired in informal gatherings, calls and text messages to fix the price for glyburide, a diabetes drug, and doxycycline hyclate, an antibiotic.
The Canonsburg, Penn.-based company has been under fire since August when reports revealed it hiked the price of its EpiPen device 500% since it acquired the auto-injector in 2007. In response to widespread criticism from politicians and lawmakers, Mylan said in August that it would launch a discounted generic version of the device and expand its patient assistance program.
The generic EpiPen will sell for $300 per two-pack, which is a 50% discount compared to the price of the brand name device. Mylan said the generic will be available in pharmacies next week.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said in a statement that consumers will continue to face rising out-of-pocket costs until the pharmaceutical pricing system is reformed. “While it is important to understand the outdated and complex system that determines what someone pays for medicine in the U.S., hardworking families don’t need an explanation, they need a solution,” Bresch said. “Unfortunately, families will continue to face sticker shock for medications and may be forced to make difficult choices until the pharmaceutical pricing system is reformed to address the increasing shift of costs directly to consumers.”
Mylan and Teva have responded to the civil complaint launched against the generic drug makers, saying that there is no evidence that the companies participated in price-fixing.
The price of doxycycline hyclate jumped from $20 for a 500-pill bottle in 2013 to $1,849 in April 2014, according to a congressional report.
The 4 other companies targeted by the complaint are Heritage Pharmaceuticals, Aurobindo Pharma, Citron Pharma and Mayne Pharma. The complaint points to 2 former Heritage executives who allegedly made pricing deals with competitors prior to entering the market with their own products. Heritage leveled a racketeering lawsuit against the ex-executives last November, accusing the pair of a “long-running criminal conspiracy that severely damaged Heritage.”
MYL shares were trading at $38.10 apiece in mid-morning trading activity, up +0.9%.