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FDA approves first generic EpiPen competitor

Those with severe allergies could soon have a lower-cost alternative to the EpiPen.
Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
In this photo illustration, EpiPen, which dispenses epinephrine through an injection mechanism for people with severe allergies, is seen as the company that makes it Mylan Inc. has come under fire for the price that it charges

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it has approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr.

The move paves the way for a lower cost option for patients who suffer from life-threatening allergies.

The products from Teva Pharmaceuticals are the first competitors cleared by the FDA that are direct generic copies of the EpiPen and could be substituted by a pharmacist, according to CNBC.

The soaring cost of brand name EpiPens, from drug maker Mylan, has led to uproar over the years. A report found that the drug's list price rose from $94 in 2007 to more than $600 by 2017.

In response, Mylan introduced its own generic version in late 2016 that cost $300 for two epinephrine auto-injectors.

“This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb explained in the FDA's statement.

Back in May the FDA also declared a shortage of EpiPens available in the U.S.

Teva has not said how much it would charge for the generic version or when it would be available to the public.

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