24 August 2016

Those Old Family Ties

Bummer of a Birth Mark, Jim
One of the stories floating around right now is that Mylan Pharmaceuticals jacked up the price of EpiPens by over 400% over the past few years.

Given the state of the American pharmaceutical industry, we've seen something similar from the 3 manufacturers of insulin colluding on price hikes,  it's not a particularly surprising or unique state of affairs.

What is news however is that Heather Bresch, the company's CEO, is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Mylan is one of the most generous donors to him.

In fact, a former Mylan lobbyists, Michael Garrison, appointed  president of the University of West Virginia by Manchin when he was governor had to resign in disgrace when he bent the rules to give Heather Bresch an unearned MBA.

So now this linkup is hitting the mainstream news:
The growing congressional scrutiny of pharmaceutical giant Mylan over the high cost of EpiPens could prove awkward for Sen. Joe Manchin.

The West Virginia Democrat’s daughter, Heather Bresch, is chief executive of the company, which appears to have hiked the price of the epinephrine auto-injector by 400 percent since 2007. The device, which is used to treat severe allergic reactions, now costs more than $600 per dose.

This price increase has become a public relations disaster for Mylan and at least four of Manchin’s Senate colleagues are either pressing the company to reduce the cost of EpiPens, asking it to explain the price increase or requesting federal regulators to investigate the matter. Manchin is not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has shown the most interest in probing Mylan’s pricing practices, and so far the senator is not discussing the issue.
Manchin has spent his time in the Senate being a Joe Lieberman Democrat, so I have absolutely no sympathy for the fact that he is getting jammed up by this.


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