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Generic drugmaker to sell alternative to EpiPen injectors

Generic drugmaker to sell alternative to EpiPen injectors

December 6th, 2018 by Associated Press in National News

TRENTON, N.J.—Generic drugmaker Sandoz announced plans Thursday to start selling an alternative to the EpiPen in the U.S. early next year.

The EpiPen injector is used to halt life-threatening allergic reactions to insect bites, nuts and other foods. Brand-name EpiPen, which dominates the market, has been in short supply since spring because of production problems.

Sandoz will sell prefilled syringes with the same medicine, the hormone epinephrine, under the name Symjepi. The price will be $250 for two, without insurance.

Two generic versions of EpiPen are sold in the U.S. for $300 a pair, including one from EpiPen seller Mylan. The company started selling its own generic after it was blasted for repeated hikes that pushed up its list price from $94 to $608 for a pair of brand-name EpiPens.

What people pay varies, though, depending on insurance, discounts and the pharmacy.

Mylan's injectors are made by a subsidiary of Pfizer, which is upgrading factories to fix quality problems. That resulted in production slowdowns. Pfizer said Thursday it's shipping some injectors and expects to ship more in the coming months.

The shortages triggered temporary shortages of other similar products, including Auvi-Q. As a result, U.S. regulators let some manufacturers extend expiration dates.

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