For roughly 40 millions Americans with severe allergic reactions to certain foods or bug bites, having epinephrine injectors, such as EpiPen, can be a matter of life or death. These injections deliver a specific dose of the hormone epinephrine to the body and ease the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, which can lead to fatal restriction of airways.
However, over the past years, the price of this life-saving drug has skyrocketed by nearly 500 percent. In 2007, when pharmaceutical company Mylan took over rights to EpiPen from Merck, a pair of syringes cost about $93.88. They now cost about $600 with insurance and can go for over $1,000 if patients have high deductibles.
The main reason behind the price hike is apparently a lack of competition.
While the issue has drawn heavy fire from both consumers and members of Congress, there is one person who is actually defending Mylan as “the good guy.”
The former Turning Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, better known as “Pharma Bro,” hiked the prices of malaria and HIV medication, Daraprim, by 5,000 per cent. He is now under indictment for securities fraud, but that didn’t stop him from commenting on the controversial matter.
“Mylan is the good guy,” he told CBS in an interview. “They had one product, and they finally started making a little bit of money and everyone is going crazy over it.”
Two peas in a pod, right?
The disgraced entrepreneur did not stop there. He went on to compare the current price of EpiPen with his iPhone.
“Like I said, it’s $300 a pack,” Shkreli added. “$300. My iPhone is $700. ... It’s $300 and 90 percent of Americans are insured.”
Meanwhile, Mylan said in a statement that they “are committed to working with customers and payers to find solutions to meet the needs of the patients and families we serve.”
There's one thing Mylan raised the cost of even more than EpiPens — its CEO's salary. As the cost of EpiPens rose nearly 500 percent, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch's salary saw a 671 percent increase from $2,453,456 in 2007 to $18,931,068 in 2015.