EpiPen maker announces cheaper generic version as fight against price hikes continues

EAST HARTFORD -- The fight against the EpiPen price hikes continues here in Connecticut, as its maker announced a cheaper, generic version on Monday.

Mylan said it will make  a generic version of its EpiPen available, as criticism continued to mount over the price of its injectable medicine.

The company said Monday that its U.S. subsidiary will put out a generic version of the EpiPen that will have a list price of $300 for a two-pack. It will be available in both 0.15 mg and 0.30 mg strengths.

Myland N.V. said that it anticipates having the generic versions available in the next several weeks. It will also continue to market and distribute branded EpiPen.

In recent weeks state leaders have been expressing concern the current cost will make it harder to keep the Epipens in schools.  EpiPens are bought in packs of two and cost more than $600. They only cost about $100 back in 2009. They are only good for one year, so if they`re not used, they need to be throw them out and you need to buy a new set each year.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal will meet with parents and educators at East Hartford High School at 11 a.m. Monday to talk about the issue.

One key issue Sen. Blumenthal is expected to talk about Monday is that Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, has offered discounts to schools, but only if they promise not to buy them from competitors.  He said if that is true, it`s a violation of the federal anti-trust laws.

Mylan has argued the spike in price is due to an improved product.  Last week Mylans` CEO said publically that lowering the price was not an option. The company did, however, say it will double the eligibility for patient assistance programs, to help more people afford the drug.

Roughly 40 million Americans have the kind of severe allergies that would make them need to carry an EpiPen. Those allergies can be to things like bee stings, spider bites, or to foods like nuts, eggs or shellfish.