CVS pharmacies around the U.S. are now offering generic Adrenaclick—the cheaper alternative to EpiPen—for just $110 per two-pack. That's a nearly $200 savings over the current cost for generic EpiPen and more than $500 cheaper than branded EpiPen.

Generic Adrenaclick is the auto-injector that Consumer Reports previously recommended instead of EpiPen and its generic—which have out-of-pocket costs ranging from $300 to more than $700 per two-pack.

Generic Adrenaclick contains epinephrine, the same drug in the same dosage as EpiPen, although it delivers this lifesaving medicine in a slightly different type of auto-injector. (To use generic Adrenaclick, you must remove two gray caps, then press the red injector tip into your outer thigh. For EpiPen, you remove one blue safety cap, then inject into the thigh.)

If you rely on the medication to reverse severe allergic reactions, switching to the generic could save you hundreds of dollars each year, depending on how many auto-injectors you need to keep on hand, according to CR Best Buy Drugs.

"We recognize that we have patients for whom there was an urgent need for a lower-cost epinephrine auto-injector," says CVS Health spokeswoman Erin Britt. "And we wanted to bring a solution forward for consumers."

The announcement comes on the heels of Mylan Pharmaceuticals' launch of a generic EpiPen, priced at $300 per two-pack—a significant savings over the branded version. In recent months, branded EpiPen's price spiked to more than $700, fueling consumer outrage and a Senate probe into the drugmaker's pricing structure.

"This all started last summer, when we saw a real outcry from patients who could not afford EpiPen," says Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy, about the company's partnership with generic Adrenaclick's manufacturer, Impax Laboratories. "We were hearing from patients and our pharmacy teams wondering what more we could do," Foulkes adds. At that time, CVS approached Impax to carve out an opportunity to make the auto-injector more available to patients. 

"We are pleased to work with CVS Health to increase access to our low-cost generic Adrenaclick epinephrine auto injector," says Impax spokesman Mark Donohue. "Families need and deserve an affordable option to treat severe allergies."

How to Get Adrenaclick Today

CVS told us that lower-priced generic Adrenaclick is available in pharmacies today (including CVS pharmacies in Target stores), to both insured and uninsured patients. Patients whose insurance covers generic Adrenaclick might be able to get the auto-injector set for less than $110. 

Last year, the supply of generic Adrenaclick was “somewhat limited,” which might have resulted in delays for consumers trying to fill a prescription for the lifesaving medication, Foulkes says. However, she assured us that CVS has addressed the supply concern with Impax. "We can say with a high level of confidence that our pharmacies can supply the auto-injector to patients," Foulkes adds. 

If you're considering switching to generic Adrenaclick, it's important that you ask your doctor to write a prescription for "epinephrine auto-injector." That way, pharmacists can discuss epinephrine options with you, based on your healthcare coverage, and determine which auto-injector will save you the most money. 

The good news is that pharmacists in more than a dozen states, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Vermont, and Washington, can fill an EpiPen prescription with generic Adrenaclick without your having to return to your physician for a new prescription, according to Impax.

A note on safety: The Adrenaclick injector has a different set of instructions from EpiPen, says Barbara Young, Pharm.D., of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. So if you switch devices, don’t wait until you need Adrenaclick in an emergency to learn how to use it. Learn how to use it before leaving the pharmacy, and consider scheduling a training session. Read your injector’s package insert thoroughly and watch a training video on the manufacturer's website.

Editor's Note: This article and related materials are made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which is funded by the multistate settlement of consumer-fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin (gabapentin).