Is it just good PR? 5 highlights on the continuing controversy surrounding Mylan's EpiPen price hikes

After Mylan faced criticism for significantly increasing EpiPen's price, the company executives launched a generic to the drug. However, many are wondering if this is enough to squash harsh criticism, according to MedPage Today.

Here are five highlights:

1. In a statement posted on Mylan's website, company CEO Heather Bresch said the company understands the public's "deep frustration" with EpiPen's cost and therefore is launching the generic to give people access to a less costly alternative.

2. Timothy Holbrook, JD, a law professor at Atlanta-based Emory University told MedPage Today, Mylan's move to offer a generic is not unprecedented as many companies offer a generic in addition to a brand-name drug. However, Mr. Holbrook notes it is not typical for Mylan to develop a generic drug when there are not competing generics on the marketplace. He said, "It sounds like a good PR move – it might be – and it might be [a way to] head off other generics."

3. American Medical Association implored the pharmaceutical company to do everything in its power to lower the price. AMA President Andrew Gurman, MD, said the drug's high costs may deter people from purchasing the drug, even if it is needed. American Academy of Pediatrics voiced similar concerns, saying the company needs to act as soon as possible to make the drug affordable for families.

4. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology applauded Mylan for offering the generic. AAAAI Executive Vice President Thomas Casale, MD, said in a statement, "We implore all parties involved with the manufacturing, approval and distribution of this alternative, as well as any other equivalent product in development, to make it available as soon as possible. Improving patient outcomes requires this shared commitment to patient access."

5. Congress is also weighing in, with House Energy and Commerce Committee Democratic members writing Ms. Bresch a letter seeking information as to why the company offered a generic product as opposed to lowering EpiPen's price. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) want to hold a hearing this month concerning Mylan's response.

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