The chief executive of Mylan plans to defend the price of EpiPens before Congress on Wednesday, but will acknowledge that the drug maker should have foreseen consumer concern over rising costs, according to an advance copy of her remarks.
“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 the [list price] or more,” Heather Bresch plans to say. “We never intended this.”
Bresch is scheduled to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform amid a public outcry over the price of EpiPens and congressional scrutiny.
The price of the epinephrine auto-injector stands at $608 for a two-pack — about 450 percent more than it was in 2004. Bresch, according to her prepared remarks, will say that Mylan makes a profit of approximately $50 for each two-pack.
Much of her testimony focuses on Mylan’s work to increase access to EpiPens. The company gave hundreds of thousands away to schools and is working on increasing the shelf life of the devices so they don’t have to be replaced every year.
“I hope these facts will be considered in the larger discussion about the price,”Bresch will say. “Price and access exist in a balance, and we believe we have struck that balance.”
Congress will have plenty of other facts to consider. The New York Attorney General is investigating Mylan for antitrust violations because the company offered EpiPens at discounted prices to schools as long as the school didn’t purchase competitive products. A USA Today investigation revealed that Bresch’s mother was a driving force behind states requiring schools to keep epinephrine auto-injectors in stock. And the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services has concluded that EpiPens were misclassified for reimbursement purposes, potentially costing states tens of millions of dollars.
And the committee will have more questions. The chairman of the committee, Jason Chaffetz, and ranking member Elijah Cummings have sought contracts between Mylan and EpiPen manufacturer Meridian Medical Technologies, lobbying disclosures, and correspondence between Mylan and government agencies.
Bresch did not address those matters in her testimony.