Payers Say “No” to Expensive EpiPen Challenger

Auvi-Q costs $4,500 for a two-pack

With a list price of $4,500 for a two-pack, Kaléo Pharma’s revived Auvi-Q epinephrine autoinjector has met stiff resistance from some of the nation’s top pharmacy benefit managers and insurers, according to an article posted on the FiercePharma website. The controversial EpiPen (Mylan) is listed at approximately $600 for a two-pack.

Cigna has rejected AuviQ outright, while Aetna is restricting the product for now, and Humana is not talking to the company. In addition, top pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts hasn’t struck a deal for Auvi-Q, and Optum doesn’t plan to purchase the product. AuviQ is scheduled to launch next month.

Cigna has also dropped the EpiPen from its coverage list, instead pushing patients to the authorized generic or a cheaper option from Impax Laboratories.

Kaléo’s pricing strategy shifts the costs of Auvi-Q to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. Most patients will pay $0 out-of-pocket. Last week the company announced that it would step in and pay for the product if an insurer refuses to cover it. Uninsured patients can purchase the drug at a cash price of $360 for a two-pack.

Sanofi previously marketed Auvi-Q through a partnership with Kaléo and voluntarily recalled the product in November 2015 because of dosing problems. Sanofi later canceled the deal and returned the rights to Kaléo.

Source: FiercePharma; January 24, 2017.