Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Jimmy Kimmel's Mom Makes PB&J for Emmys Audience

Outrage over high drug prices has hit the Emmys. At the awards show last night, comedian Jimmy Kimmel handed out peanut butter sandwiches to the star-studded audience. "If you're allergic to peanuts, uh, well, I guess this is goodbye — because we could only afford one EpiPen," he said. Here's the full clip.

Kimmel was alluding, of course, to the widespread public anger over the cost of the device, which has jumped by 450 percent since 2004. The device's manufacturer, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, will send CEO Heather Bresch to testify before Congress on Wednesday.

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Mylan CEO Bresch, aka "Pharma Sis," Defends Price Gouging, Tax Evasion as Job Savers

Mylan CEO Bresch, aka "Pharma Sis," Defends Price Gouging, Tax Evasion as Job Savers | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Drug company CEO Heather Bresch affectionately describes the humble EpiPen as her “baby,” a once-middling product that she turned into a blockbuster.

 

With aggressive advertising — and even more aggressive price hikes — Bresch has fostered the EpiPen into a bestseller that brings in more than $1 billion a year in revenue for Mylan Pharmaceuticals (read “Pharma Sis, Mylan CEO, Hits Her EpiPen Marketing Target: Moms! Price Gouging Followed”; http://sco.lt/5Iy70b) .

 

But the growing furor over drug pricing threatens to turn Mylan’s biggest asset into a liability. And it has forced Bresch into an unwelcome spotlight, as anxiety over the rising cost of medicine has drug industry critics seeking out the next Martin Shkreli.

 

In the past week, Mylan has faced public scorn, investor skepticism, and castigation from a group of senators calling for an investigation into why EpiPen’s cost has soared fivefold under Bresch’s watch. Even Shkreli, widely perceived as a paragon of greed after hiking a drug price by 5,000 percent, decried Mylan as a group of “vultures.”

 

[Bresch is] one of the drug industry’s highest-paid CEOs, pocketing more than $18 million in cash and stock last year, and sitting at the head of a $26 billion enterprise.

 

 

Pharma Guy's insight:

How Bresch defended herself to her dad: “I said, ‘You know, Dad, we have 5,000 employees in Morgantown, W.Va. — we’re one of the largest employers in West Virginia,’” she told an audience at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in 2015. “I can guarantee you, if we don’t protect ourselves, no one’s going to protect those jobs.”

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Mylan CEO Bresch Says Healthcare in Crisis No DIfferent Than 2007 Financial Crisis!

Mylan CEO Bresch Says Healthcare in Crisis No DIfferent Than 2007 Financial Crisis! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Bresch argued that the problem of drug prices isn't with Mylan or even the pharmaceutical industry, but instead with a health-care system that often requires consumers to pay not just insurance premiums also out-of-pocket for prescription medications, sometimes to the full retail price. 

 

That phenomenon, Mylan has said, has been exacerbated by the increase in the number of high-deductible health plans. 

"The patient is paying twice," Bresch said. "They're paying full retail price at the counter, and they're paying higher premiums on their insurance. It was never intended that a consumer, that the patients would be paying list price, never. The system wasn't built for that." 

 

"I am hoping that this is an inflection point for this country," Bresch said. "Our health care is in crisis. It's no different than the mortgage financial crisis back in 2007."

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