(Washington, DC — August 25, 2016) – It’s a good thing that Mylan Pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Bresch runs a drug company.
She’s got to be glad to have easy access to powerful sedatives.
The firestorm over the drastically increased price of one her company’s products, the EpiPen, continues to grow.
The EpiPen helps those suffering from Anaphylaxis. For many, it can be the difference between life and death.
“Life is good when you can gouge the little people and make them suffer and, in some cases, die,” said an industry analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The EpiPen is a very profitable and popular Mylan product. In 2015, more than 3.5 million prescriptions were written. One year earlier, it became the first Mylan product to hit $1 billion in sales.
In 2007, an EpiPen 2-pack cost about $100. Nine years later, the same 2-pack costs about $600.
For Bresch, the 609% price increase translated into a 671% raise over nine years.
“In 2007, she made a paltry $2.5 million salary,” said a pharmaceutical industry analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In 2015, she made about $19 million.
“If you go to the Mylan Web site, their slogan ‘Seeing is believing’ is plastered everywhere. Well, you’d have to see your bill for purchasing an EpiPen today to believe it. And it’s pretty unbelievable.”
This isn’t the first time Bresch has been in hot water. In 2008, she became Mylan’s CEO and listed an MBA from West Virginia University on her resumé.
She never earned the degree, but some senior educators at WVU added courses to her transcripts to give the appearance of the degree’s completion. They eventually resigned under pressure from students and other faculty.
And in 2015, Bresch moved the company’s corporate headquarter to the Netherlands in order to escape America’s 39.6% corporate tax rate.
For her part, Bresch has feigned compassion in recent days. In an interview earlier today, she said, “No one’s more frustrated than me” about the EpiPen pricing.
“That’s an absolute load of [explicative],” said a pharmaceutical industry analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity. “I’ll bet you can find millions of people who can’t afford to buy the medication for themselves or their family members who are way more frustrated than the Queen of the EpiPen.
“She should just do herself – and the rest of us – a favor and just shut the hell up.”
Mylan announced today that it will not be lowering the EpiPen’s price, but instead will be creating a “savings card” which will deduct $300 from the product’s price.
“Of course, we could be losing a lot of money by doing this,” said a Mylan spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And that’s why I’m happy to announce that we’re simultaneously raising the price of the EpiPen by $300.
“It’s win-win – for our stockholders.”
In the meantime, members of Congress continued to feign outrage over the price increase; some committees have sent inquiries to Bresch asking her to justify the inflated pricing.
“It’s all for show,” said a political analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Congress is in the pockets of Big Pharma. They can pretend to be upset, but in the end, they’re bought and paid for by people like Bresch. As long as their corporate masters are happy and earning millions of dollars for their CEOs and stockholders, all’s right with the world.
“Mark my words: This will quickly fade, especially in an atmosphere of ongoing Congressional inquiries into Benghazi and Hillary Clinton’s E-mails.”
For the record, Clinton (D-NY) has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the multiple, million-dollar investigations into both issues.
Adding another twist to the “outrage” being exhibited by members of Congress: Bresch’s father is none other than Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV). For his part, Manchin has promised a detailed review of Mylan’s pricing practices.
“Yeah, that’ll be a five-minute investigation,” said a Congressional critic, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But Bresch does have her supporters – or at least one supporter. Martin “PharmaBro” Shkreli, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came to Bresch’s defense. Shkreli is well-versed in this type of scandal; in 2015, he raised the price on Daraprim, a medication used to treat AIDS and HIV, by more than 5,000%.
In addition to the public relations nightmare that followed the price increase, Shkreli was hauled before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in February to answer for his actions. Exhibiting a number of nervous tics, he refused to answer any questions, smirking as he repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights.
“I’m not surprised at his appearance or his behavior,” said a Congressional staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Look at the guy. He definitely looks like someone whose family tree resembles a broom handle. The guy’s just not right.”
Once excused from the proceedings, he sent out several tweets expressing extreme disrespect for a legislative body whose approval ratings are consistently in the single-digits:
- “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”
- “Your attempt to subvert my constitutional right to the 5th amendment [sic] are disgusting & insulting to all Americans”
“Of course Shkreli is supporting Bresch,” said a critic of the pharmaceutical industry, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Leave it to that little prick to validate a price increase on some kind of injectable medication.”
Some “prominent” Americans have begun to speak out against Mylan’s actions. Celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker, who partnered with Mylan in raising public awareness about the EpiPen, announced she was ending her partnership with the pharmaceutical giant.
“She decided she had to take a stand over this injustice,” said a Parker spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Even though she’s a multi-millionaire and has no problem paying the inflated prices on behalf of her son, she felt the price increase was unjustified and morally wrong.
“In short, she decided she was the best person to put her foot down.”
Bresch and Shkreli will soon be feeling a new kind of wrath from the American public. In light of their new pricing guidelines, businesses and manufacturers across the country have joined forces to raise their own prices when it comes to the drug-gouging duo.
“If Bresch thinks she can raise prices 609%, that’s fine. Now wherever she goes, no matter what she buys, no matter what services she uses, she’ll face a 609% markup.
“Think that’s bad? Shkreli’s increase is 5,555%. I hope he enjoys paying over $30 for a 55¢ can of cat food. Who knows? Maybe that’s all he’ll be able to afford to eat. Serves the inbred weasel right.”
FLATLINE is proud to provide a sampling of the new pricing at both Bresch’s and Shkreli’s rates:
Bresch Pricing (Markup of 609%)
|Item||Quantity||Original Price||Heather Bresch Price|
|Cat Food||per can||$0.55||$3.35|
|Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee||per cup||$2.65||$16.14|
|Garden State Parkway||for 173 miles||$8.25||$50.24|
|Deli Turkey||per pound||$11.49||$69.97|
|New Jersey Turnpike||for 117 miles||$13.85||$84.35|
|Meal at Longhorn||for dinner||$25.00||$152.25|
|Pennsylvania Turnpike||for 357 miles||$46.10||$280.75|
|Parking Garage in NYC||for 4 hours||$53.00||$322.77|
|Cable TV||per month||$175.00||$1,065.75|
|2016 F-150||per vehicle||$40,000.00||$243,600.00|
Shkreli Pricing (Markup of 5,555%)
|Item||Quantity||Original Price||Martin Shkreli Price|
|Cat Food||per can||$0.55||$30.55|
|Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee||per cup||$2.65||$147.21|
|Garden State Parkway||for 173 miles||$8.25||$458.29|
|Deli Turkey||per pound||$11.49||$638.27|
|New Jersey Turnpike||for 117 miles||$13.85||$769.37|
|Meal at Longhorn||for dinner||$25.00||$1,388.75|
|Pennsylvania Turnpike||for 357 miles||$46.10||$2,560.86|
|Parking Garage in NYC||for 4 hours||$53.00||$2,944.15|
|Cable TV||per month||$175.00||$9,721.25|
|2016 F-150||per vehicle||$40,000.00||$2,222,000.00|