Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was on Capitol Hill Wednesday, facing questions about the dramatic increase in the cost of the Epipen. Prices of the medical device have increased from about $100 in 2007 to $608. The group Public Citizen says Mylan probably spends $30 to make an individual Epipen and urged consumers to contact their representatives and senators to complain about rising drug pr8ies.
But Bresch told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the company only makes $50 on each Epipen. She says Mylan has found a balance between the price of the drug and accessibility, especially in schools.
However, according to NBC, Congressman Jason Chaffetz called Bresch’s claims hard to believe and says parents don’t have a choice when it comes to the life-saving medical device.
Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan: “We raised the price over eight years. And we raised that price and I think what is incorrectly assumed is that $608 is what Mylan received. We receive $274 of that $608. ”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz / (R) Utah : So here’s what I don’t understand. Explain to me. When you buy the generic version? What is the difference in the generic version? Is it just the name?
Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan:L “It will be the same product with the epinephrine auto-injector on it. It will be the same product.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz / (R) Utah : “So suddenly it’s $608 and now you’re going to have a generic of the generic and that’s going to be $300?”
Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan: “Yes. We’ve cut the wholesale acquisition cost in half.”
Rep. Jason Chaffetz / (R) Utah: “And the only thing you changed was the name. This is why we don’t believe you. If the price goes from $608 to $300, your collection on that is actually higher. And you’re telling me that your net profit is going to go down?”
Heather Bresch , CEO of Mylan: Mylan we acquired this product and realized the complete lack of awareness and access to the product and the fact that public places, let’s take schools… that if a child at a school or on a playground were to go in and have a severe allergic reaction, go into anaphylaxis, and if that child didn’t have a prescription in their name at that school, the school couldn’t use it. So there were deaths in schools happening because there may have been EpiPens or other epinephrine auto injectors but they weren’t allowed to be used in children, who tragically died. We saw this as unacceptable.”