FDA Approves First Generic Version of EpiPen

EpiPen

On Thursday, The FDA approved the first generic version of EpiPen. EpiPens are designed to automatically inject a dose of epinephrine into a person’s thigh to stop an allergic reaction. The generic is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals and will compete against Mylan. Teva has not disclosed the price or release date at this time.

Background

Since purchasing EpiPen in 2007, Mylan has drastically raised the price of EpiPen. Mylan has also had many issues with shortages and issues with their manufacturer. The FDA issued a warning to Mylan’s manufacturer Pfizer after multiple cases of EpiPen malfunctions.

Are there other EpiPen Generics?

In 2016, Mylan released its own generic version of the EpiPen that was roughly half the cost of the original price. The brand name medication can cost as much as $600 for a package of two pens. Teva’s EpiPen is the first from a competitor that is a true “therapeutic equivalent” according to the FDA. This will be the first product that can be easily substituted for customers by their pharmacists.

Have any Questions for us?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

Ask a Pharmacist

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

At Tria Health, our pharmacists are here for you! They are always happy to answer any of your medication-related questions. For August, we’ve compiled some of our more popular questions, along with our pharmacists’ answers.

Is it possible for my medication to lose its effectiveness over time?

Yes. Medications may lose potency and effectiveness over time. Unless the bottle suggests otherwise, always consider the expiration date of a prescription medication one year following the fill date. If you filled a prescription on July 1st 2017 it should be considered expired and a new prescription will be necessary on July 1st 2018.

Do generic drugs work just as well as the brand name versions?

Yes. Generic medications contain the same active medicine and are safe and effective alternatives to brand name products. In order to receive F.D.A approval, generic medications must prove that they are equivalent to the brand name medication.

Is it safe to take slightly expired medication?

Taking a medication that is slightly expired is unlikely to cause harm, but it is possible that it may not work as well and in general it is best to acquire a new prescription if your medication is expired.

How can you tell if a medication is expired?

If the medication was filled more than 12 months ago or the listed expiration date on the bottle has passed consider the medication as expired.  In addition, if the appearance of the medication has changed this may be an indication of an expired product. If you have an injectable solution or oral suspension that has changed colors or consistency this might indicate a new prescription is needed.

 

If you have any additional questions regarding your medications,

reach out to the Tria Health Help Desk: 1.888.799.8742

3 Popular Brand Medications Going Generic in 2016

As medication use continues to rise, generic alternative options are key to managing costs. This year will there are 3 big brand name medications going generic.

#1. Crestor (rosuvastatin)

Anticipated Generic Date: May 2016

Use: Cholesterol

Importance: Highly favored statin therapy as it is considered “high-intensity” and is associated with less muscle pain/joint pain compared to other statins.

#2. Benicar (olmesartan)

Anticipated Generic Date: October 2016

Use: Blood Pressure

Importance: Commonly used blood pressure medication, especially in people who have an “ACE cough” on another class of blood pressure medications.

#3. Zetia (ezetimibe)

Anticipated Generic Date: December 2016

Use: Cholesterol

Importance: Common add-on therapy for those who need additional cholesterol lowering on statin therapy (or those who can’t tolerate statin therapy).

 

Tria Health will keep you updated as these generic alternatives become available. If you have any questions, always speak with your health care provider or Tria Health Pharmacist regarding what medications are appropriate for you.