On August 16th, 2018 the Food and Drug Administration approved the first generic version of the EpiPen in an effort to drive down the cost to make it more affordable for families. The EpiPen is designed to automatically inject epinnephrine into a persons thigh to stop an allergic reaction.
How Epinephrine Works
Epinephrine works by reducing swelling in the airway and increasing blood flow in the veins. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA is the company that has made the generic copy that will rival the existing company Mylan. Mylan has raised the price of their EpiPen sixfold since purchasing it in 2007, yet the company has been plagued by periodic shortages which has left families struggling to find a reliable supplier. Teva’s epinephrine auto-injector can be used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions such as peanuts and bee stings in adults and children weighing more than 33 pounds.
The generic version was approved to market in 0.3 mg and 0.15 mg strengths. The commissioner to the F.D.A., Scott Gottlieb, is planning to speed up approval of generic products to lower cost and also try to get them out for the back to school season. When the product hits the market it will eventually be a substitute for the Mylan EpiPen.
About 15 million Americans have food allergies. It is estimated that 2.4 million children have had a life threatening allergic reaction. This is why we need a generic EpiPen made available to all Americans. To many families are not able to afford the outrageous prices of this product nor have insurance to cover the cost.