Ohio House approves generic EpiPen

COLUMBUS (AP) — The Ohio House has passed a bill that would let pharmacists offer a generic and cheaper alternative to life-saving EpiPens used to treat certain severe allergic reactions.

That kind of substitution for the branded auto-injectors isn’t currently allowed.

The proposal follows harsh criticism last year over the cost of the brand-name EpiPen soaring to more than $600 for a two-pack. Its maker, pharmaceutical company Mylan, later announced a generic version at half the price.

Republican Rep. Derek Merrin, of Monclova Township, says his legislation aims to boost access to the medication and help patients get it at the best available price.

The bill was approved by the House on Wednesday with bipartisan support. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.