ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
The maker of the EpiPen is bowing to public pressure. It plans to sell a generic version of the allergy drug for $300. That's half its current price. As NPR's Alison Kodjak reports, the public outrage could translate into lower prescription drug prices overall.
ALISON KODJAK, BYLINE: EpiPens are used to stop life-threatening allergic reactions. Consumers have been growing angry as EpiPen's maker, Mylan, boosted the price for a two-pack from $100 to $600 in six years. Caleb Alexander is co-chair of the Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
CALEB ALEXANDER: There's nothing that's forcing Mylan to produce a generic version of their branded product, but they're doing so because they argue that this is the best means of addressing the public outrage over the high cost of the EpiPen.
KODJAK: The controversy is following a familiar cycle of outrage over the rising drug prices. Consumers complain. Lawmakers threaten hearings and new regulations, then the company backs down. Alexander says this incident could put the brakes on drastic drug price increases.
ALEXANDER: I think we can only hope that this latest brouhaha helps force systemic change.
KODJAK: He says companies may see that raising prices is risky to their reputations, or the Food and Drug Administration could speed up approvals for generic drugs in cases where prices are rising fast. Alison Kodjak, NPR News.
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