At one point, Mylan’s (MYL) flagship EpiPen device for severe allergic reactions controlled about 95% of the epinephrine auto-injector market. But that figure has dwindled to just over 71% as more and more doctors opt for rival products, according to a new report from athenaHealth arm athenaInsight.
Mylan became a prominent poster child for pharmaceutical industry gouging when reports emerged last year that it had steadily hiked the life-saving EpiPen device’s price over the course of a decade to more than $600 for a two-pack (which must be restocked every year). After a flurry of public backlash and Congressional investigations, Mylan agreed to boost programs that help patients afford the out-of-pocket costs for an EpiPen and introduced a generic version of its own product at half the price.
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But rivals pounced on Mylan’s stumbles. Kaléo, which once had its own product called Auvi-Q on the market, relaunched the device last month and has seen its market share in the space steadily rise.
“Patients and providers might be reaching for the alternatives and generics that have recently hit the shelves, as the industry responds to widespread demand,” wrote athenaInsight.
Besides Kaléo (whose own “high-tech” epinephrine auto-injector isn’t exactly cheap, but is being provided at nearly zero out-of-pocket costs to consumers), CVS (CVS) recently made a generic version of Impax Laboratories’ EpiPen competitor Adrenaclick available for $110 for a two-pack at all of its locations.
After slapping on a $100 coupon being made available to customers by CVS, the price comes down to just $10, including for people without insurance.
One thing to keep an eye on is what these companies do to their devices’ prices — and if the EpiPen’s market share continues to dwindle – in August, ahead of the next school year. That’s when many parents stock up on the products for their children.