A Minnesota doctor reportedly created a $50 EpiPen alternative and is trying to raise money to bring it to patients.
Dr. Douglas McMahon, who has severe food allergies, told CBS Minnesota that he was hesitant to carry his EpiPen because it was so bulky. As a certified allergy specialist, McMahon began constructing an alternative in his lab several years ago and now has a patented product called AllergyStop.
“By chance I came to realize how inexpensive the parts were, including the medicine, and I realized we can sell it to patients for a very reasonable cost,” McMahon told the station.
The pitch comes at an opportune time, as EpiPen maker Mylan (NSDQ:MYL) draws fire for raising the price of its epinephrine auto-injector by some 500% since 2008. Mylan CEO Heather Bresch is slated to appear at a congressional hearing Sept. 21 to testify about the price increases. It’s notoriously hard for EpiPen alternatives to succeed, as Mylan’s EpiPen dominates 94% of the market.
McMahon needs $2 million for tests to investigate if the medicine can stay sterile and potent inside his device. Progress on an IndieGogo campaign has been slow – he’s raised just 3% of his $200,000 goal.
McMahon said he’s open to bringing in investors to fund the trials, but wants to keep the product as affordable as possible.
“I’m a patient that uses this device and I would prescribe this device, so I know both sides of the field,” McMahon said.