Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch is the daughter of Joe Manchin – a Democratic US senator from West Virginia. Recently news bulletin broke that Mylan – an American giant pharmaceutical company and the exclusive maker of EpiPen in America, has hiked the prices from $57 (in 2007) to $600 for a package of two in 2016.
Genesis of the EpiPen
EpiPen is a functional device for those suffering from stern allergies. The EpiPen provides injections of epinephrine in cases of serious and acute allergy attacks. Factually, Sheldon Kaplan designed this auto-injection for Survival Technology, Inc.
In 2007, Mylan bought the generic drugs division of Germany’s Merck KGaA. Thus it got hold of the EpiPen brand of auto-injectors. Moreover, under Merck, the injectors cost just about $7 each.
For the last seven years, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch has been resorting to federal government in Washington for help. Alongside patient groups, Mylan insisted for federal legislation cheering states to stock epinephrine injections in schools.
In 2010, when the Food and Drug Administration introduced new federal policies relevant to epinephrine prescriptions, Mylan stopped selling single pens and swopped to twin-packs. These policies besieged persons who were suffering acute allergic reactions. By late 2011 Bresch considered the rule changes as big events to begin harvesting on.
‘EpiPen in America’ - Success Story
In the event of a 7 year old dying due to an allergic reaction to nuts, Congress passed a law insisting states to ensure its schools had epinephrine injections handy at all times. In that particular year, Mylan spent around one million dollars in lobbying. Moreover with this EpiPen popularization plan strategy, Mylan started giving out complimentary EpiPens to approximately 60,000 schools in 2012.
In 2014, the company spent 35 million dollars on commercial ads. Furthermore, in 2015, Mylan marked a deal with Walt Disney, supplying theme parks and cruise ships with auto-injections. The only other company that got close to competing with Mylan’s EpiPen was Auvi-Q. However, later it was driven out of the market.
Over the years, Bresch’s determination and power-driven attitude fuelled the company spread the EpiPen in America far and wide. Ultimately it caused its use to grow by 67 percent in the United States.
Now, “EpiPen prescriptions are so ordinary that pediatric allergist Robert Wood from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine remarks the EpiPen in America as the latest Kleenex”.
Even recently, when Mylan CEO Heather Bresch recently spoke with the New York Times, she stated the federal law passed in 2010 amongst her top accomplishments. With the recent price hike, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton issued a statement on Mylan to ardently reduce the price of the auto-injections. Furthermore, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, expressed his concerns on the hikes.
Nevertheless, if Mylan didn’t have to incur money on Washington politics, it could have managed to sell the EpiPens for a reasonable price. A widespread analysis of pharmaceutical companies is that they splurge much money on commercial marketing. Furthermore, it causes higher medicine prices, higher health insurance premiums and higher levels of skepticism amongst natives about government.
It will be far better if the way to make money in the pharmaceutical business is to discover a new cure, rather than appoint political heads to exploit the most money possible out of a medicine that already exists.