Emergency EpiPen alternative priced for Canadian market at $170 each




Emergency EpiPen alternative priced for Canadian market at $170 each
Emergency EpiPen alternative priced for Canadian market at $170 each

The American epinephrine autoinjectors ordered by Health Canada as an emergency measure amid an ongoing EpiPen shortage have been priced at $170 Cdn each by manufacturer Kaléo Pharmaceuticals.

Since 2015, Pfizer Inc. — EpiPen’s manufacturer — has been the sole supplier of epinephrine autoinjectors in Canada. They are life-saving devices for people who have an anaphylactic reaction to something they’re allergic to, including food, and patients are usually supposed to have more than one of them. Schools, for example, often require that children at risk of anaphylaxis have an injector in the classroom.

But Pfizer has repeatedly announced shortages, and over the last several weeks, Canadian pharmacies have had to ration EpiPens, dispensing only one per patient. That led to a great deal of concern as the school year approaches.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Ginette Petipas Taylor announced an “interim order” allowing the Auvi-Q injectors to be imported from the U.S. and sold in Canada for up to one year.

The devices have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and will be available in Canadian pharmacies by Sept. 7.

That price for the Auvi-Q epinephrine autoinjector is more than the price of an EpiPen, which costs about $100 before pharmacy dispensing fees. But it’s far less than the product’s retail price in the U.S. of about $460 Cdn.