UPDATE 5-Mylan to launch generic EpiPen at half the price of original

Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:48pm EDT
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* Generic EpiPen to cost $300 vs branded price of about $600

* Launch an "extraordinary commercial response"-Mylan CEO

* Launch raised as many questions as solutions-Democratic senator

* To continue to market and distribute branded EpiPen

* Shares flat; stock dropped 12 pct last week (Adds comments from doctor, Sanders, background on EpiPen, rivals)

By Ankur Banerjee and Ransdell Pierson

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Mylan NV said it would launch the first generic version of its allergy auto-injector EpiPen for $300, half the price of the branded product, the drugmaker's second step in less than a week to counter the backlash over the product's steep price.

The company reduced the out-of-pocket costs of EpiPen for some patients on Thursday, but kept the list price at about $600, a move that U.S. lawmakers and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said was not enough. EpiPen cost about $100 in 2008.

Mylan said on Monday it expected to launch the generic product "in several weeks", an unusual move considering the branded bestseller is still patent protected and major rival treatments have failed to get regulatory clearances.   Continued...