Wednesday, September 21, 2016

EpiPen price-gouging scandal brings a closer look at Mylan

I'm happy to say that the EpiPen price-gouging scandal has stirred enough outrage to trigger several investigations into Mylan.

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was called in to testify before the House Oversight Committee today.  She's claiming that they're not price-gouging, that they only make $50 off of each pen...

But considering how much the cost has gone up in recent years, that would mean that until this year, they were basically paying the consumers to take EpiPens off their hands.  Unless, of course, they're including the cost of Bresch's obscenely large raises in the "expenses" that go into making the pens.  Or, perhaps, the costly marketing campaign they waged to get EpiPens into schools.

Of course, any time health care companies screw over consumers, they love to claim innocence and point their collective fingers at Obamacare.

Bresch has defended her company. In a CNBC interview last month, she faulted a "broken" health care system that "incentivizes higher prices" in the industry.
But that explanation probably won't cut it with the committee, said David Maris, a pharmaceutical analyst at Wells Fargo.
"For Mylan to be successful, they'll have to answer the questions honestly and openly," Maris said. "Avoiding or trying to be too cute with a senate panel is a recipe for disaster."

The hearing today isn't the only trouble Mylan's price-gouging has brought down on upon their heads:

The treatment is also at the center of several antitrust investigations related to Mylan's school distribution program. And USA Today reported Tuesday that Bresch's mother used her job at an education association to help generate sales for the EpiPen.

I'm glad this is getting so much attention, and that it's causing people to pay closer attention to the issue with other medications, too, such as insulin price-gouging.  I hope Mylan will have to face the music, and that the music will be loud enough to serve as an example to other pharmaceutical companies.

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