My brother-in-law worked for the U.S. Forest Service for his entire career. In fire season, he would volunteer for assignment to be on the support team when the fires raged in California. He’s also allergic to bee stings–so allergic that it was always important that he carry his EpiPen to reverse a serious allergic reaction. It was a life-threatening situation for him.
Several years ago, while fighting a fire in northern California, another firefighter had a severe allergic attack, and while they were waiting for the rescue medical chopper, my brother-in-law offered his EpiPen in that time of crisis. Fortunately, the firefighter survived, and my brother-in-law made it through the fire without a bee sting, and didn’t need the emergency treatment the EpiPen provides. Lucky.
Now we’ve become aware of a classic case of American Corporate greed. The pharmaceutical company Mylan has a near-monopoly on the distribution of the EpiPen. In the last several years, the company has jacked the price of the life-saving EpiPen by 500%. In 2009, a 2-pack EpiPen cost $100. Today, it runs as high as $600, putting the cost out of reach for many—consider the child with a peanut allergy who may be playing Russian Roulette, hoping he doesn’t go to a birthday party and accidentally eat a piece of cake made with some peanut oil.
Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) is Mylan’s CEO. Oh, and by the way, her salary has increased from $2MM a year to $19MM during this time—now we know where the company shuffled some of the extra EpiPen profits.
Ah, but this story gets even darker. In 2014, Mylan bought generics manufacturer based in the Netherlands and reincorporated overseas, even though the corporate headquarters is still in Pennsylvania. Why? To dodge a significant corporate tax obligation in the United States.
Could there be anything more disgraceful?
Shame on you, Heather Bresch and all those greedy suits Mylan.