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Cheaper EpiPen alternative Symjepi approved by FDA

A cheaper alternative to the EpiPen will soon be available in pharmacies for patients suffering from severe allergies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new epinephrine pre-filled syringe (PFS) called Symjepi, which is manufactured Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. 

Symjepi's entrance to the market could result in more competitive pricing for the epinephrine PFS, which is good news for patients struggling to afford the potentially life-saving medication. Physicians in the US wrote 3.6 million prescriptions for EpiPens in 2015, according to data from IMS Health. Similar products already on pharmacy shelves include Mylan's EpiPen and the generic version introduced in 2016, Impax's generic version of the Adrenaclick and Auvi-Q, manufactured by Kaleo. 

Epinephrine syringes have been in the spotlight in recent months due to the sharp increase in the price of branded EpiPens manufactured by Mylan. Over the last ten years, patients without insurance saw the price of branded EpiPens rise from $94 to more than $600. Cheaper generic versions were released onto the market by Mylan in December 2016, but these can still cost upwards of $400. 

Dennis J Carlo, MD, president and CEO of Adamis, commented: "With an anticipated lower cost, small size and user-friendly design, we believe Symjepi could be an attractive option for a significant portion of both the retail (patient) and non-retail (professional) sectors of the epinephrine market."

Adamis gained FDA approval for the Symjepi epinephrine injection USP, 1:1000 (0.3 mg pre-filled single dose syringe) for the emergency treatment of Type 1 allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. The Symjepi PFS is smaller in size than an EpiPen and, like its competitor, will be sold in packs of two.  

Epinephrine is the favored emergency medication for patients having an acute anaphylactic reaction to insect bites, stings, food, drugs and other allergens. Anaphylaxis can be a life-threatening allergic reaction requiring immediate emergency treatment. Each year, around 200,000 Americans seek emergency medical treatment following an allergic reaction to food. Furthermore, four out of ten children with food allergies have experienced a severe allergic reaction, according to figures from Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).