Alternative to EpiPen reaches for a closing window of opportunity

Even as people increasingly search for options to prohibitively expensive EpiPen devices, few have turned to the one true alternative—known by the brand name Adrenaclick. The Adrenaclick auto-injector has been declared safe by the government, national pharmacies sell it, and its list price is a third less than the EpiPen's.

Even as people increasingly search for options to prohibitively expensive EpiPen devices, few have turned to the one true alternative—known by the brand name Adrenaclick. The Adrenaclick auto-injector has been declared safe by the government, national pharmacies sell it, and its list price is a third less than the EpiPen's. Doctors who are aware of and prescribe the Adrenaclick say patients are often pleasantly surprised to learn that there is an alternative to the EpiPen. However, six companies in succession have owned Adrenaclick since an earlier version became available 13 years ago, but few invested significant money in marketing. Recently, its owner, Impax Laboratories, has struggled to keep up with scant demand, resulting in sporadic shortages. Impax has been moving to make Adrenaclick a competitive alternative. The company is striving to expand access to Adrenaclick by upgrading the outdated production line, improving the distribution system, and lobbying states to make it easier for patients to get the product from pharmacists. Douglas Boothe, president of the generics division at Impax, says the company sees an opportunity in a little-known provision that allows pharmacists in 21 states to fill a prescription for an EpiPen with the generic version of Adrenaclick, even though the two are not identical. He acknowledges, however, that many pharmacists are not aware that his product exists, which is a major hurdle.