Drugmaker Kaleo announced on Thursday that it would offer its Auvi-Q emergency allergy auto-injector at no cost to many people who need it, after a wave of criticism raised last year over the high price of the product.

Auvi-Q emergency allergy auto-injector comes then as a cheaper alternative to substitute EpiPen. However, even when the company said that the important price is the one perceived by the patient, it will have a high cost for insurance companies: $4500. Kaleo Chief Executive Spencer Williamson said in an e-mailed statement that “In order to help ensure Auvi-Q is available as an option to eligible patients for $0 out-of-pocket, we set the list price at $4,500.”

AUVI-Q (epinephrine injection, USP 0.15 mg/0.3 mg auto-injectors). Image credit: Kaleo.

The product is free for those who qualify for emergency treatments

Kaleo is planning to relaunch its Auvi-Q emergency allergy auto-injector on February 14. The best news is that it might cost 0 dollars to many patients. Kaleo’s new plans come up after a product recall, and after the product received many criticism last year for its expensive price when the auto-injector cost $600, making impossible for many families to acquire the life-saving product.

The new strategy of the pharmaceutical is for the consumers —who have a commercial or a government insurance— to obtain Auvi-Q at no charge. It will also offer the product for free to patients with no insurance but with an income under $100,000.

Patient with allergy
Auvi-Q was originally sold by French drugmaker Sanofi before it was taken out of the market. All the rights belong now to Kaleo. Image credit: Idaho State University.

The company also said that the generic version of the product will cost half the price from now on. It will have a cash price of $360 for people who don’t qualify for emergency treatment.

Historically, EpiPen controlled 90 percent of the emergency allergy treatment, but these new plans designed by Kaleo might change the prospect in the near future.

Auvi-Q will be free at the insurances’ expense

Though this is a great news for families with allergic members, it is important to wait for the companies to react. Because even though the product is free for qualified patients, Kaleo is setting a price of $4,500 for insurance companies.

Although Kaleo announced that the free Auvi-Q plan will be offered for those who have a governmental insurance too, we have to wait and see how President Donald Trump will manage politics regarding pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

There are rumors that some companies such as CVS and Impax Laboratories have a better plan than Kaleo, since they are trying to launch an EpiPen alternative called Adrenaclick for just $109.99

“It’s important to note that nobody pays the list price and that the most important price is the price to the patient,” Williamson said. “No epinephrine auto-injector, branded or even generic, will cost a commercially insured patient less out-of-pocket than Auvi-Q.”

Source: Perfscience