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Mylan Releases $300 Generic EpiPen After Price Hike Outrage

Drugmaker Mylan was criticized after it was revealed the company raised the price of the lifesaving drug from $100 to $600 since 2008.
Image: A pharmacist holds a package of EpiPens epinephrine auto-injector
In this July 8, 2016, file photo, a pharmacist holds a package of EpiPens epinephrine auto-injector, a Mylan product, in Sacramento, Calif.Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Mylan, the company that came under fire recently for raising the price of the life-saving EpiPen more than 400 percent, on Friday announced it would sell a generic version for $300, or half the price.

The EpiPen is used to treat severe allergic reactions like those that can occur from bee stings and foods like nuts.

The company evoked a firestorm of criticism after it was revealed in August the drugmaker increased the price of the EpiPen since 2008 from $100 to $600. Mylan was the target of a Department of Justice and Congressional investigation.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said that the company produced the cheaper generic version out of concern for rising drug prices and the ability of families across the country to afford them. The cheaper version of the treatment should be in stores next week.

Related: Mylan CEO's Pay Rose Over 600 Percent As EpiPen Increased From $100 to $600

"While it is important to understand the outdated and complex system that determines what someone pays for medicine in the U.S., hardworking families don't need an explanation, they need a solution,” she said in a statement. "This is why we took decisive action with our EpiPen product and have launched the first generic version at half the WAC price."

Bresch was called before Congress over the dramatic price increase. Mylan announced in late August that it would produce a $300 version.

Mylan didn’t invent nor does it produce the EpiPen. The company bought the rights to the EpiPen in 2007, which received approval in 1987 and has dominated 90 percent of the market.

Today, Mylan buys the Epipen from a Pfizer subsidiary for $34.50 per pen and enjoys a near-monopoly since its chief competitor faced a recall last year.

Related: Congress Doesn't Scare Drug Execs Into Lowering Prices

In October, the company paid the Department of Justice $465 million to settle the question whether they manipulated the classification of EpiPens to pay lower rebates to Medicaid and Medicare.

Mylan’s announcement arrives one day after 20 states filed a joint lawsuit over the prices set by generic drugmakers, Reuters reported. The state governments have focused their attention on Mylan and five other generic drug-producing companies.