Mylan CEO Heather Bresch Disastrously Defends EpiPen Price Hike and Her Own $16M Pay Raise

Mylan Pharmaceuticals CEO Heather Bresch appeared on CNBC Thursday morning in an effort to mitigate the controversy sparked by the company's decision to exponentially increase the price of the life-saving EpiPen drug.

When asked if she understands the bipartisan outrage brought on by the company's pricing path, Heather Bresch appeared to take zero responsibility.

"The American Medical Association has said this is basically the same product it was in 2009 and yet the price has gone up three or four hundred fold," CNBC's Brian Sullivan told Bresch.

"Look, no one's more frustrated than me," the CEO said in response.

Bresch tried to thwart criticism of the steep price hike by discussing the marketing and distribution costs of EpiPens and her efforts to make the drug more widely available.

“We’re manufacturing the product, distributing the product, enhancing the product, investing,” she said. “When we took over this product eight years ago, there was very, very little awareness. We have doubled the lives of patients who are carrying an EpiPen. We have passed legislation in 48 states to allow undesignated EpiPens to be in schools,” Bresch told CNBC. 

The CEO went on to warn of a healthcare crisis similar to the 2007 mortgage crisis.

"I am hoping this is an inflection point for this country. Our healthcare is in a crisis. It's no different than the mortgage financial crisis back in 2007. This bubble is going to burst," Bresch said.

When asked why her own compensation rose from $2.5 million in 2007 to $18.9 million in 2015, Bresch dodged that question as well.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.