A recent episode of CNN’s Boss Files podcast featured Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan and the first woman to run a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company. The podcast focused primarily on her journey to success. However, roughly 40 minutes in, Bresch was questioned about her pricing strategy for EpiPen, the epinephrine auto-injector for treating emergency allergic reactions.
Mylan acquired the right to sell EpiPen in 2007 and, under Bresch’s leadership, EpiPen prices were raised nearly 400 percent in late 2015. In mid-2016, Mylan released a generic EpiPen, which sold for about $300 for a 2-pack (50 percent less expensive than the name-brand version). When questioned about Mylan’s pricing and promotion strategy, Bresch explained that patients “needed a solution and wanted a solution” and that her generic device provided both.
Not everyone is sympathetic to her answer. A recent business column in the Los Angeles Times called her comments “bogus on many levels” and said her actions demonstrate “unfettered corporate greed.” Others compare her to disgraced drug-industry executive Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli, who is now serving time for securities fraud, received sharp criticism when he raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill in 2015.
Read the rest at independent.org.
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