Mylan CEO defends price hikes during heated EpiPen hearing: 5 takeaways

Members of Congress grilled Mylan CEO Heather Bresch with questions about the high price of EpiPens during her Wednesday hearing with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, according to The New York Times.

The committee questioned Ms. Bresch on everything from her growing salary (now at about $18 million) to how she got to the hearing (a private jet).

Here are five thoughts from the hearing.

1. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), a ranking member of the committee, said Mylan "jacked up" the price of EpiPens "to get filthy rich at the expense of our constituents." Other lawmakers said Mylan's price spikes were "sickening," "disgusting" and showed "blatant disrespect" for families who cannot afford the product for their children with severe allergic reactions, reports Reuters.

2. Ms. Bresch defended Canonsburg, Pa.-based Mylan's pricing practices and said the public had overlooked Mylan's efforts to expand access to EpiPens through its discount program and donations to schools. "Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance," Ms. Bresch said.

3. Ms. Bresch maintained her argument that middlemen like pharmacy benefit managers and distributors are partly to blame for the price hikes, as they take a share of the profits and leave Mylan with only $100 in profit for a two-pack of EpiPens, which have a list price of $608.

4. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), who said he does not usually criticize companies for trying to make a profit, called out Mylan for its aggressive lobbying to require EpiPens in schools, according to the report.

"You came and you asked the government to get in your business — so here we are today," he said. "You get a level of scrutiny and a level of treatment that would ordinarily curl my hair, but you asked for it."

5. Lawmakers said Mylan's efforts to increase access to the life-saving medication were not good enough and questioned whether the company would change its pricing practices in response to all the scrutiny.

 

More articles on supply chain:

Mylan CEO's mother advocated for EpiPen sales in school as education leader
Senate committee to examine Mylan's Medicaid rebates
Mylan CEO acknowledges company could have anticipated consumer concern over price hike

 

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