EpiPen users have been experiencing some serious sticker shock after EpiPen-maker Mylan decided to increase the device’s cost to $608 for a two-pack. Many people found the price hike unethical, especially given that the EpiPen price was just $100 in 2009. The steep price increase left many EpiPen users scrambling for alternatives to the life-saving drug, and it looks like there may be a new, cheaper one on the horizon.
Pharmaceutical company Kaleo just announced that they will be relaunching a less expensive competitor to the EpiPen called Auvi-Q. The epinephrine injector will become available sometime during the first half of 2017, according to Business Insider. Auvi-Q is designed to deliver the same epinephrine drug as Mylan’s EpiPen, but last year it was recalled from the market due to potential dosage inaccuracies.
Kaleo has acquired the rights to the product back from pharmaceutical company Sanofi in order to fix the Auvi-Q and offer it at a more reasonable price than the EpiPen. At the time of recall, the Auvi-Q was priced at $500, almost the same as the EpiPen, but Kaleo CEO Spencer Williamson told Reuters in a telephone interview, “We are working on what is the right price to assure that the ultimate patient copay is low.”
The Auvi-Q is shaped like credit card and will feature a retractable needle and a voice-prompt system to guide users.
Auvi-Q is not the first competitor on the market. Adrenaclick, another epinephrine injector, retails for as low as $142, and another credit card-shaped injector, Adrenacard, is in the works as well.
Mylan announced in August that it, too, will be releasing a cheaper alternative to the EpiPen. The company said the generic version of the EpiPen was expected to become available this fall, but as the company continues to be caught up in controversy surrounding its pricing, the product has yet to hit pharmacy shelves.