Perhaps the latest pharmaceutical scandal involving EpiPens is just a reflection of the greater progressive scheme to bring a capitalist republic to its knees. And while that may sound a bit melodramatic, maybe you should read the following facts, … and connect the dots.
The issue first came to light when the news broke of the insane price increase for EpiPens at more than a whopping 400%. People with severe allergies depend on this drug for its lifesaving properties when confronted with an emergent situation and people are screaming at the drastic increase. And they want to know why! Forbes points out the price increase is based on a “because they can” reason. It also points out that the cost of EpiPen was only $57 when they first acquired the EpiPen delivery system.
UPDATED 08/22/2016, including a statement from Mylan at the end] Mylan MYL -0.67% pharmaceutical company has a virtual monopoly on EpiPens after a voluntary recall felled their only competitor*, Sanofi’s Auvi-Q, over possible dosage miscalibrations. It’s not the drug being delivered that brings the bucks, though—epinephrine’s a cheap generic. The cost trickery is in the delivery system, the Mylan EpiPen.
The EpiPen’s been around since 1977, but Mylan acquired the autoinjector—which precisely calibrates the epinephrine dosage—in 2007. The patient now pays about 400% more for this advantage to receive a dollar’s worth of the lifesaving drug: EpiPens were about $57 when Mylan acquired it. Today, it can empty pockets of $500 or more in the U.S. (European nations take a different approach to these things).
Milan is really raking in the bucks, too. EpiPen isn’t the only product they control on which they have drastically raised prices. The Guardian writes:
Mylan has hiked prices of other products as well, according to a June report by a Wells Fargo senior analyst David Maris.
“Mylan has raised the prices more than 20% on 24 products, and more than 100% on seven products,” he wrote.
Among the products whose prices were hiked over the past six months were:
- Ursodiol, a drug used to treat gallstones, saw its price increase by 542%
- Dicyclomine, a drug used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, saw its price increase by 400%
- Tolterodine, a drug used to treat overactive bladders, saw its price increase by 56%
The Guardian has reached out to Mylan to confirm these hikes.
In his report, Maris noted that the price hikes could draw “greater regulatory scrutiny and headline risk”.
And so what does all this windfall get a CEO? One hell of a whopping raise! A 671% percent raise. Not a bad gig if you can get it, and we have already established, she can get it.
The executive of the pharmaceutical company that hiked the prices of two dozen drugs, including EpiPen, received a 671% pay increase over the past nine years.
Heather Bresch, chief executive officer of Mylan, came under public scrutiny this week after reports that since acquiring rights to EpiPen in 2007, the company had implemented a series of gradual price increases inflating the price of the drug from $56.64 to $317.82, a 461% increase in cost . During that same time, Bresch went from being Mylan’s chief operating officer to president to chief executive and saw her pay rise $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671% increase.
Oh yeah, did we mention that Heather is the daughter of Democratic Senator, Joe Minchin? Hmm, probably no powerful political connections there, that would influence her company getting a monopoly on the EpiPen delivery system, … or would there be? The Washington Post reports:
It turns out that the woman at the center of this controversy has powerful political connections. My colleague Catherine Ho reports that the head of Mylan, the drug company accused of hiking the price of the pen that treats severe allergic reactions, is also the daughter of Joe Manchin, a Democratic U.S. senator from West Virginia and the state’s former governor.
Heather Bresch’s career has risen along with her father’s, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by her critics. But Bresch’s corporate rise is also a modern-day success story. Over the past quarter century, she moved from a job in the basement, literally, to the CEO’s office, all while raising a family and combating what she has described as “the old-boys’ club” of the corporate drug world.
So, if you have leftist roots and are embroiled in a healthcare scandal, funded by taxpayers, what’s the typical response to the accusations of foul play? You guessed it. “It’s not my fault.” Deny, deny, deny.
MoneyCNN reported that the Mylan CEO deflected and denied, in true, corrupt form.
Heather Bresch, the Mylan CEO under fire for skyrocketing EpiPen costs, believes Americans should redirect their anger toward a “broken” health care system.
But Bresch argued that a lack of transparency in the complex health care system — with bigger cuts for everyone along the supply chain — “incentivizes higher prices” in the industry. She pointed out that copays and deductibles are on the rise, too.
“This system needs to be fixed. No one knows what anything costs,” Bresch told CNBC on Thursday.
The Mylan CEO compared the health care industry to the real estate mortgage crisis of 2008.
“Our health care system is in a crisis…This bubble is going to burst,” Bresch said.
Well, Heather, … we, and especially parents who have been buying them, do know that EpiPens were only $57 each less than a decade ago.
It looks like the treasure trove of interesting facts are only beginning to boil to the surface about Mylan and Heather Bresch. Stay tuned.