Mylan CEO to Defend EpiPen Price Increase Before Congress
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Mylan Pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Beresch is expected to defend her company’s increase in EpiPen pricing when she testifies before Congress tomorrow by maintaining that the company simultaneously expanded access to the emergency allergy medication, according to an advanced copy of her remarks obtained by ABC News.
“Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance,” Beresch’s prepared remarks to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee say. “With the current focus on pricing, I’m very concerned that the access part of the equation is being minimized.”
Mylan has come under intense criticism for the increase in price of its signature EpiPen product, a portable auto-injecting device for emergency treatment of severe allergic reactions. The price of a two-pack of EpiPens has risen from approximately $100 in 2009 to around $600, according to medical literature and various pharmacies around the nation.
Beresch will note that Mylan’s record “isn’t perfect,” but that the company has done a “tremendous amount of good, particularly in schools,” with Mylan having provided hundreds of thousands of EpiPens to multiple schools across America without any financial stipulations, the copy of her remarks says.
Beresch is also expected to seek to explain the financial considerations that determine EpiPen pricing to show how the company does not get $600 in profits for every EpiPen pack sold.
Scrutiny of the Mylan CEO over EpiPen pricing rose after she defended the increase in an interview with The New York Times by claiming, “I am running a business.”
Beresch is the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat of West Virginia. Manchin released a statement in August saying he was “concerned” about the rising costs of prescription drugs and looked forward to reviewing Mylan’s response.
“I look forward to reviewing their response in detail and working with my colleagues and all interested parties to lower the price of prescription drugs and to continue to improve our health care system,” Manchin said.
USA Today reported earlier Tuesday that Manchin’s wife and Beresch’s mother, Gayle Manchin, had started an effort to have EpiPens placed in schools across the U.S., which may have increased their popularity in school settings.
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