Colbert Skewers EpiPen Makers and Big Pharma
Stephen Colbert is fed up with the pharmaceutical industry's prioritizing of profits over the lives that could be saved by its products.
As Colbert, host of "The Late Show," explained, Mylan Pharmaceuticals has "jacked up" the price of a set of two EpiPens "from less than $100 for a pair to over $600." His audience booed.
"That price is enough to send you into shock," Colbert joked. "But don't do it, because you can't afford the pen anymore."
Mylan's defense? The price "has changed over time to better reflect... the value the product provides," revealed Colbert, narrative over a "visual approximation" of the pharmaceutical company as Skeletor, enemy of He-Man.
"To be clear, that value is saving the lives of people who can't breathe," he explained. "Or as Mylan likes to call them, 'gasping cash-filled meat sacks.'"
Tone-deaf Mylan CEO Heather Bresch doesn't give an inch when asked if she can understand the public's outrage over the extreme price increase. If her callous response sounds familiar, that's because Mylan is following in the footsteps of "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli, "who jacked up the cost of HIV drugs by 5,000 percent," Colbert reminded his audience.
As the audience booed over an unflattering photo of the pharma bro, Colbert made moves to use the EpiPen he'd been holding. "That was a close one," he said. "I'm severly allergic to douche."