An EpiPen rival is set to return to the market free of charge for millions of consumers – but will set insurance companies a whopping $4,500 for a two-pack.
The Auvi-Q, sold by virginia-based manufacturer kaleo, will be available again in February. It was recalled in 2015 due to what the FDA called a ‘potentially inaccurate dosage delivery’.
Kaleo will offer the Auvi-Q for free to patients with commercial insurance, who represent about 200 million people. Uninsured patients who belong to households earning less than $100,000 will also be able to get the auto-injector for free.
The offer comes after pharmaceutical company Mylan came under fire for hiking the price of the EpiPen to more than $600 since 2007 – an increase of more than 400 per cent in less than a decade.
The Auvi-Q, an epinephrine auto-injector, will return to the market in February and will be available for free to patients with commercial insurance
Other patients who do not have government or private insurance will be able to buy the Auvi-Q at a cash price of $360 for a two-pack.
Kaleo’s epinephrine auto-injector comes with a list price of a whopping $4,500 for two auto-injectors – but Kaleo executives have said that no one will actually pay that sum.
Insurance companies, who could have been expected to foot the bill, will get rebates and discounts, Kaleo CEO Spencer Williamson told CNBC.
‘The reason the list price is high is it’s the only way we can make sure patients have access and can get it for $0,’ he said.
Identical twin brothers Eric and Evan Edwards (pictured) invented the Auvi-Q, which will also be available for free to uninsured patients from households earning less than $100,000
Patients, meanwhile, will be able to get it for free if they are commercially insured or come from a household with an income of less than $100,000 and do not have commercial or government insurance, or $360 if they have no insurance but do not meet the $100,000 threshold.
Those with government insurance will have to liaise with their own insurers to figure out how much they’ll have to pay for the Auvi-Q.
Some Medicare and Medicaid plans will cover the auto-injector but coverage offered by government plans may very widely, according to an FAQ posted on the device’s website.
The Auvi-Q, which will go for sale on February 14, was invented by identical twin brothers Eric and Evan Edwards, who grew up with life-threatening allergies and have food-allergic children.
Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen, drew outrage from parents, politicians and consumer groups when it increased the price of the life-saving device. It has since offered coupons and a generic version, which comes at $300 for a two-pack.