Months after the CEO of Mylan--the company that produces the EpiPen allergy treatment-- was grilled at a congressional panel, a company called kaléo announced on Thursday that it will bring an affordable alternative to the pharmaceutical market in February 2017.
AUVI-Q will be available by prescription beginning Feb. 14. Through a new program, the life-saving medical device will cost $0 for those with commercial insurance.
“We met with patients and physicians and listened to the very real challenges in the current healthcare environment with obtaining access to affordable medicines,” said Spencer Williamson, President and CEO of kaléo.
Similar to EpiPen, AUVI-Q is a FDA-approved medicine intended to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. However, AUVI-Q outshines its predecessor in its ability to verbally guide a patient through the injection process. Voice instructions will be able to help even the most distressed patients, or those simply unfamiliar with how to use the medicine.
AUVI'Q's needle will also automatically retract.
“We know how important it is that severely allergic patients have an epinephrine auto-injector that can be with them at all times and used correctly, even without training, during a panic-stricken allergic emergency,” said Eric Edwards M.D., Ph.D, Vice President of Product Strategy at kaléo
EpiPen's price cost patients about $100 in 2007, according to the Washington Post. In 2016, that price soared to more than $600, creating a billion-dollar industry.