Between 2007, when Mylan acquired the patent for the EpiPen, to 2015, the wholesale price had skyrocketed from $56.64 to $317.82 — a price increase of 461 percent. Similarly, compensation for Mylan CEO Heather Bresch increased astronomically over the same time period. According to NBC News, Bresch went from making $2.453,456 in 2007 to $18,931,068 in 2015, amounting to a 671 percent raise over eight years.
But Bresch wasn’t alone in the windfall resulting from the rising price of the EpiPen. Mylan’s president, Rajiv Malik, saw his base pay increase by 11 percent to $1 million annually as of 2015, while Mylan Chief Commercial Officer Anthony Mauro got a 13.6 percent raise, amounting to $625,000 per year.
Millions of people with life-threatening allergies, particularly food allergies, depend on the EpiPen for survival. When used, the EpiPen provides an emergency dosage of epinephrine to the user, inhibiting a potentially fatal allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, from occurring.
The rising cost of the EpiPen also mirrored Mylan’s stock price increase over the same time period. In the two years after Mylan acquired the EpiPen patent, the price increased by a 5 percent rate. In 2009, the price of the EpiPen increased by a whopping 19 percent. And in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the price went up by another ten percent each year. The price then shot up rapidly from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016, skyrocketing by 15 percent twice a year.
Conversely, between 2007 and 2015, Mylan’s stock price tripled, going from $13.29 per share in 2007 to a high of $47.59 in 2016. As of this writing, Mylan’s stock is hovering around $45.68 per share on the NASDAQ index, with MarketWatch rating Mylan’s stock as “Bullish.” According to Bloomberg, the EpiPen now accounts for roughly 40 percent of Mylan’s profits.
Mylan’s greedy business practices are attracting the rancor of parents and politicians alike. On Monday afternoon, a coalition of U.S. Senators, led by Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, penned a letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch demanding she justify her company’s dramatic price increase of the life-saving device.
“This outrageous increase in the price of EpiPens is occurring at the same time that Mylan Pharmaceutical is exploiting a monopoly market advantage that has fallen into its lap,” Sen. Klobuchar said in a public statement. “Patients all over the U.S. rely on these products, including my own daughter. Not only should the Judiciary Committee hold a hearing, the Federal Trade Commission should investigate these price increases immediately.”
As of Tuesday evening, Mylan had not responded to the request for a Senate hearing. The Other 98%, a progressive action group, has launched a petition calling on Mylan to make the EpiPen affordable for everyone. Click here to sign.