Health

Five EpiPen Execs Took In $300 Million After Price Hikes

| by Sarah Zimmerman
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Mylan, the company that sells the life-saving EpiPen treatment, has reaped in $292.1 million for its top five executives, thanks to a huge price hike in their medication.

EpiPens are used to counteract life-threatening allergic reactions by injecting a synthetic form of adrenaline into the user, according to the medication's website. The medication stops the main side effects of a reaction by clearing up airways, stimulating heart rate and reducing hives or swelling. The website touts that the national food allergy guidelines say that the EpiPen is the only recommended line of defense for anaphylactic shock. 

Those with life-threatening allergies, then, have no choice but to buy EpiPen's products, despite the fact that the medication's cost has increased over 500 percent in the last 10 years, according to Time. With these major price hikes -- and a monopoly on a necessary product -- Mylan has quickly made a massive profit for CEO Heather Bresch and four other top executives. 

USA Today reports that a two-pack now costs $608, while it only cost $100 in 2009. Bresch claims that the price hike has led to a "misconception about our profits."

"I know there is considerable concern and skepticism about the pricing," she went on to say during a House Oversight committee meeting. "I think many people incorrectly assume we make $600 off each EpiPen. This is simply not true."

After fees and rebates, Bresch claims that the company only receives $274 per every two-pack sold. And, after factoring in "related costs" and "our cost of goods," Mylan receives an actual net-profit of $100. 

Critics have taken issue with her statement according to Time, pointing out that it only costs $30 to produce a single EpiPen, not $87 as she suggested. 

Bresch refuses to issue an apology, according to USA Today, but does plan on making the product affordable for some patients by initiating a rebate plan and rolling out a generic version of the drug, which would cost $300 for a two-pack.

"Looking back, I wish we had better anticipated the magnitude and acceleration of the rising financial issues for a growing minority of patients who may have ended up paying [full price]," she said, reports USA Today. "We never intended this. We listened and focused on this issue and came up with a sustainable solution."

With the company's massive profits, however, critics don't seem to believe that the price hikes were a necessary decision and members of the House from both sides of the political spectrum seem to be against Bresch's decision. 

Sources: USA Today, EpiPen, Time / Photo credit: Greg Friese/Flickr

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