Health

Meet the New Big Pharma CEO Making Millions by Making a Life Saving Drug Unaffordable

August 24th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

The price of a life-saving medication has shot up, and a senator's daughter is just one of the people profiting from it. Mylan, the company that makes the emergency allergy medication EpiPen, has received huge backlash for raising the price of EpiPens 400 percent over the last eight years, according to NBC News.

EpiPen

The increase is drawing comparisons between the Mylan CEO Heather Bresch and Martin Shkreli, the controversial former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, whose price hike of malaria and HIV medication drew sharp criticism. Even Shkreli called Mylan executives "vultures," according to CNBC.

Twitter user @nycsouthpaw, an anonymous lawyer with 26,000 followers, tweeted an explanation of who's profiting from Mylan's price gouging.

According to @nycsouthpaw, one of the people making big money is Bresch, the Mylan CEO and daughter of West Virginia senator Joe Manchin (more on him later). She received a 671 percent raise since 2007 when she became CEO and the company began raising the prices of EpiPens, according to the New York Daily News.

But the plot thickens. Michael Garrison, the former president of West Virginia University, was forced to resign after it ws revealed the university retroactively granted Bresch an unearned master's degree while her father was the governor of West Virginia. Garrison was a former classmate of Bresch's and also a former lobbyist for Mylan, according to The Washington Post.

Explanation of Mylan price hike profiteers.

Mylan, a company founded in West Virginia, moved its address to the Netherlands to avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to Bloomberg.

Tweets explain the Mylan EpiPen price hike.

In March, the Federal Drug Administration also failed to approve Israeli competitor Teva's application for a generic version of the EpiPen, knocking out a potential source of price competition, according to Bloomberg.

Explanation of the EpiPen price hike.

In the previous year leading up to the denied generic drug petition, Mylan told the federal government that a hostile merger with Teva would cause higher drug prices and lead to a delay in the development of generic drugs.

Explanation of the EpiPen price hike.

Teva withdrew its bid for the takeover, but prices for EpiPens continued to rise anyway.

Explanation of EpiPen price hike.

Mylan has raised the prices more than 20 percent on 24 of its products and raised it 100 percent on seven products this year, according to NBC news.

For many people, allergic reactions can be life threatening and high drug costs of medications like the EpiPen make it extremely difficult for patients to acquire medications that they may need to live. 

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