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Novartis to launch Adamis' EpiPen rival in U.S. next year

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Dec 6 (Reuters) - Novartis AG said its U.S. unit Sandoz Inc will launch Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp's emergency allergy shots next year in the United States, at a price that is about 16 percent below that of similar rival products.

Sandoz will start selling the pre-filled epinephrine syringes, SYMJEPI, in the United States in the first quarter of 2019 at a wholesale price of $250 for a two-pack of 0.3 mg injections, Novartis said in a statement.

Mylan dominates the market with its EpiPens, auto-injectors that deliver a dose of epinephrine in the event of severe allergic reaction, such as to bee stings or exposure to peanuts.

There has been a shortage of EpiPens in North America, Europe and Canada this year due to manufacturing delays. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May added the treatment to its list of drugs in shortage.

In November, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd launched its generic version of the EpiPen at the wholesale price of $300 for a pack of two auto-injectors - the same price as Mylan's generic version of its own shot.

Adamis, which received U.S. approval for its emergency epinephrine syringes in 2017, will distribute SYMJEPI in the United States exclusively through Sandoz.

In a separate statement earlier on Thursday, Adamis said that the manufacturing of SYMJEPI's commercial batches was complete, and it would begin shipping to distribution centers in December.

Mylan's EpiPen sales practices in the United States sparked public outrage in 2016 as consumers saw the price for a pack of two auto-injectors rise six-fold to $600 in less than a decade, making the devices unaffordable for a growing number of families.

Mylan launched its generic at around half that list price in late 2016. (Reporting by Supriya Roy in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)