Mylan’s chief executive officer, Heather Bresch, defended the rising cost of EpiPens on Wednesday when she testified before Congress. She explained that the company pays a majority of the list price in the form of rebates and fees.
“I think many people incorrectly assume we make $600 off each EpiPen. This is simply not true,” said Bresch in a Wall Street Journal article. After rebates and other costs, Mylan makes about $50 for each EpiPen, Bresch said.
Several lawmakers were skeptic about the figures presented and chastised Bresch for what they said “were inadequate answers about financial details of the company,” according to the New York Times. “I’m asking questions — you’re the CEO,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said. “I would think you would know.”
Criticism surrounding Mylan’s expensive pricing on its epinephrine injectors reached an all-time high last month. Since acquiring the EpiPen in 2007, Mylan raised the price of a two-pack more than 500 percent to $608.
“It troubles me greatly that the EpiPen product has become a source of controversy,” said Bresch in her opening remarks to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance.”
But several lawmakers at the hearing disagreed, accusing Mylan of profiting excessively from an inexpensive, life-saving product.
Mylan raised EpiPen prices “to get filthy rich at the expense of constituents,” Cummings, said at the hearing.
Lawmakers also questioned Bresch’s compensation, which she said was about $18 millon.
The company will launch a generic version of the EpiPen, which will cost half the price of the current product, Bresch noted. “We believe it was a fair price, and we now just lowered it by half,” Bresch said at the hearing.
Near the end of the committee hearing, Cummings said, “If I could sum up this hearing, it would be that the numbers don’t add up. It is extremely difficult to believe that you’re making only $50 when you’ve just increased the price by more than $100.”
Filed Under: Drug Discovery