Novartis has announced the immediate availability of its generic epinephrine auto-injector in pharmacies throughout the US, as it moves to remedy the nation’s shortage of the potentially life-saving drug.
The shortage, which has now gone on for an entire year, hinges on the availability of Mylan’s EpiPen, the most common and well-known version of the drug, in what the FDA has characterised as “manufacturing delays”. The problem, according to Mylan, lies at the feet of Meridian Medical Technologies, a Pfizer subsidiary that manufactures the devices.
In response to the ongoing shortage, Novartis’ Sandoz unit made its Symjepi auto-injector available to hospitals in January, but now is extending that availability to pharmacies, as part of a commercialisation agreement with Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. The price for a two-pack is $250 – $50 cheaper than Mylan’s own generic version of its flagship product.
According to Pfizer, the ongoing shortage should be expected to continue over the coming months.