March 29, 2017

CVS announces cheap alternative to EpiPen

13 January 2017, 12:39 | Elizabeth Houston

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The new price that CVS announced Thursday is lower, in some cases by more than $100, than other prices listed on websites like GoodRx that compare retailers.

CVS is cutting the price on a generic version of the EpiPen allergy treatment.

CVS Health said that the $109.99 price is available to anyone who walks into the pharmacy. Adrenaclick is an epinephrine auto-injector that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003. "The prescriber can then write a prescription for an "epinephrine auto-injector" to ensure the lowest-cost product is filled". The epinephrine injector immediately treats potentially deadly allergic reactions.

USA Today notes that pharmacy benefit managers like CVS Caremark have been criticized for their role in leading to EpiPen price hikes - so much so that the National Community Pharmacists Association wants a congressional hearing on said role. For many, that means also making sure they have multiple injectors in locations like schools or at sporting facilities.

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But patients with no health insurance or plans that make them pay a high deductible before covering care are exposed to the full price of the drug if they aren't aware of that assistance or if they don't seek it. "Partnerships that increase access to vital medications are key in helping those suffering from life-threatening allergies". Privately held Kaleo Inc. said past year it is aiming to bring back the Auvi-Q in the first half of 2017.

This announcement comes the day after President-elect Donald Trump declared at a press conference that drug companies are "getting away with murder" and that the government needs more power to be able to negotiate prices.

"Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power", he said.

"There's very little bidding on drugs", he said.

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