This Wednesday Congress held a hearing on the huge spike in EpiPen prices and no punches were held. Mylan’s EpiPen CEO Heather Bresch was lambasted and scolded by Congress for raising the base price of a two-pack EpiPen from $100 in 2009 to $600 this year. Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., didn’t go easy on Bresch by stating, “The greed is astounding, it’s sickening and disgusting.” Other words and phrases like “disgusting” “greedy” and “filthy rich” were thrown at the CEO while Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., accused the Mylan of being “yet another drug company” that “had jacked up the price of lifesaving product for no discernible reason.”
Bresch did try to defend herself in her testimony. She blamed the “complexity” of the health care system and how the company is only making a $100 profit per two pack as a reason for the spike. She also addressed the fact that Mylan does plan to offer a half-price version of the medicine, provides EpiPens free of charge to public schools, and has saved the US healthcare system $180 billion for over a decade. Still, Congress wasn’t having it as she was cut off many times in the middle of her explanation, and shown how that the profit the company is making on the current price is still a significant profit margin, especially since the treatment has been the same for decades. Congress also stated the fact that Bresch’s annual salary has risen from $2.5 million dollars a year to $18 million.
Congress also went after the FDA for the slow process of allowing competing medication to reach the market and how EpiPens are classified for the purpose of rebate payments to Medicaid.
ANDREW QUINTANA / NEWS TEAM