On August 16, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the green light to Teva Pharmaceuticals USA ($TEVA) to produce the first generic version of EpiPen, the portable epinephrine (adrenaline) device carried by millions for severe allergic episodes. It will also produce a generic version of EpiPen Jr. which is used on children who weigh 33 to 66 lbs.
The announcement comes while there is a nationwide shortage of EpiPens — right when schools are getting back in session — to which the FDA also announced an extension on expiration dates for certain lots of the drug.
Currently, those who need an EpiPen for life-threatening allergy or asthma attacks could instead buy Adrenaclick, its private label competitor, or use several "authorized generic" versions that are the same as the brand-name drugs but does not use the brand in its packaging. What Teva will do with its generic alternative, in theory, is help further drive down the price consumers (and health insurance companies) will pay for the drug.
In their own public statement, Teva said that it is "applying its full resources to this important launch in the coming months." According to our database, they seem to also be looking for an important resource in launching their generic drug: human capital.
Since Thinknum tracked Teva's job openings, the Israel-based pharmaceuticals company has seen continued growth, but data shows a spike in open positions the day after the FDA's announcement. The new openings range from chemists to manufacturing operators, all who could contribute to the product's development and launch.
Another major jump Teva experienced this past week came in its stock price; the day of the announcement, shares rose to over $24, and traded above $25, the highest it ever has since its slump in August 2017, in the following weekend. Shares of Pfizer Inc. ($PFE) and Mylan ($MYL), the manufacturer and marketer of EpiPen respectively, both saw steady increases during the same time period.
Two years ago, an EpiPen 2-Pak had its list price balloon to about $500, causing nationwide concern and panic for parents with children who have allergies or asthma. The generic drug is not due on the market for several months, but could still come in relief for the 2018-19 school year.