Congress Absolutely Unloads On Epipen CEO
Members on both sides of the aisle were not buying Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s defense during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing Wednesday.
Her company’s move to increase the cost of EpiPens by more than 400 percent since 2007 has raised the ire of the entire country.
“I know there is considerable concern and skepticism about the pricing,” she told the panel. “I think many people incorrectly assume we make $600 off each EpiPen. This is simply not true.”
Bresch, the daughter of Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, said the company makes roughly $50 off each of the life-saving allergy shots and adamantly denied her mother, Gayle Manchin’s position on the National Association of State Boards of Education was used to boost sales.
Ranking Member Elijah Cumming, a Maryland Democrat, blasted Bresch’s prepared testimony, saying he was “not impressed” and believes it’s wrong to get “filthy rich” by exploiting the company’s monopoly on the market.
“They use the simple, but corrupt business model that other drug companies have repeatedly used: find an older, cheap drug that has virtually no competition, and then raise the price over and over and over again,” he said.
The embattled CEO argued she didn’t anticipate the financial burdens patients would face due the the sharp rise in costs, adding the company plans to put out a generic version at half the cost.
“You never anticipated this? You raised the price, what did you think was going to happen?” Questioned Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican.
While Bresch maintained the drug is not as profitable as members might believe, she increased her salary by a whopping 671 percent over the course of eight years — racking in a whopping $18,931,068 in 2015.
“I’m a very conservative pro-business Republican, but I am sickened by what I have heard today,” Tennessee Republican Rep. John Duncan said, adding he is disgusted she was profiting “on the backs of sick children”
Democratic Rep. Bonnie Coleman of New Jersey slammed Breschfor flying to the hearing on a private jet and the company’s decision to move its headquarters overseas to lower its tax rates.
“This is a sham and a shell, and it’s really sad to hear this,” Coleman told the CEO.
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