Bloomfield, Conn. -based Cigna dropped coverage for Mylan's EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors in favor of its generic alternative according to the payer's prescription drug list changes, which were effective January 7.
A top USA health insurer has dropped its coverage of Mylan NV's EpiPen and switched to its generic alternative, following public outrage over sharp price increases for the lifesaving drug. Mylan faced considerable criticism after media reports that the company raised the price of the EpiPen by more than 500% since 2007.
Consumers can find Impax Laboratories' Adrenaclick in CVS' 9,600 stores nationwide beginning today, but the store chain said it will still sell EpiPen to those who prefer the brand name.
"As a health care company focused on helping people on their path to better health, we recognized that there was an urgent need in the marketplace for a less expensive epinephrine auto-injector for patients with life-threatening allergies", CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes said in a statement. That often forces patients to fill new prescriptions even if they never used the old one.
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In the aftermath of the unwanted attention, Mylan has expanded the financial aid it offers customers and launched its own authorized generic in December, priced at around $300 per two-pack.
Mylan continues to defend its price hikes by saying that $100 mail-in coupons and insurance coverage allows the majority of customers to not have to pay as much out of pocket.
That compares with the $649.99 cash price of an EpiPen and the $339.99 being charged for its authorized generic.
CVS has put a price of $110 for a twin-pack of this generic epinephrine auto-injector. This follows intense scrutiny from both Congress and President-elect Donald Trump about high drug prices.