Teva Overnights Generic EpiPen to Pharmacies Amid Shortage

Teva Overnights Generic EpiPen to Pharmacies Amid Shortage

(Bloomberg) -- Drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is shipping its generic version of EpiPen to U.S. pharmacies in short supply within 24 hours, helping drive sales for the cut-priced copy of the lifesaving allergy shot.

“I think it’s fair to say that we feel that we are filling a gap in the marketplace because it feels like it’s very strong demand,” Chief Executive Officer Kare Schultz said in an interview.

Rival Mylan NV’s brand-name product is currently in shortage, according to the Food and Drug Administration website, which the company has blamed on increased demand. Pfizer Inc., which manufactures the product for Mylan and recently agreed to merge its off-patent drug unit with the company, said in August that branded EpiPen supplies were likely to remain tight in the peak back-to-school season.

In the meantime, Israel-based Teva is “able to fulfill any demands,” Schultz said. Its version of the treatment is on the lists of several prescription drug plans, he said. “It’s of course a positive if you can help alleviate a supply situation,” he said.

Teva raised the bottom end of its earnings and sales forecasts Thursday, saying it had nearly reached its $3 billion cost-reduction goal. Schultz wouldn’t give specific numbers for future savings initiatives but said the next wave would come from its manufacturing base. Teva’s manufacturing gross margin is about 50%, and Schultz said that getting a 100 basis point -- or one percentage point -- improvement in gross margin per year is a realistic benchmark.

--With assistance from Riley Griffin.

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To contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at, John Lauerman

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