Published: Fri, January 13, 2017
Medical | By Dorothy Lyons

Cigna is no longer covering pricey EpiPen

The two-pack device, which needs to be assembled by hand, has a list price of more than $400.

A generic competitor to Mylan's EpiPen is now available at CVS for about one-sixth the price.

CVS CVS, +0.04% said it is selling the authorized generic for Adrenaclick, an alternative to the EpiPen, that is made by Impax Laboratories Inc.

Bresch is one of several pharmaceutical executives who have been called before Congress, where both Republicans and Democrats have demanded explanations for spiraling drug prices that can plunge patients into debt or force them to skip prescriptions. Adrenaclick is an epinephrine auto-injector that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2003.

Mylan drew major flak a year ago after news broke that it had steadily increased the list price for an EpiPen two-pack from about $100 to more than $600 in less than a decade.

Cigna will not cover Mylan's EpiPen epinephrine auto-injector in 2017.

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Adrenaclick and EpiPen give an emergency injection of epinephrine to treat life-threatening allergic reactions known as anaphylactic shock.

But patients with no health insurance or plans that make them pay a high deductible before covering care are exposed to the full price of the drug if they aren't aware of that assistance or if they don't seek it.

CVS says patients who already have an EpiPen prescription on file with the drugstore chain can ask their pharmacist to check with their physician to see if it's okay to switch to the generic. Privately held Kaleo Inc. said previous year it is aiming to bring back the Auvi-Q in the first half of 2017.

Trump criticized drugmakers on Wednesday for hikes in drug prices.

"Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power", he said.

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