Several years ago, I wrote a blog titled New Face In Price Gouging And Political Influence. It involved Senator Joe Manchin’s daughter Heather Bresch. The blog is worth repeating today taking into account the proverb of old that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
The proverb refers to children who show qualities or talents that are similar to those of their parents. In this case, Heather Bresch and her father Joe Manchin.
The blog in its entirety.
NEW FACE IN PRICE GOUGING AND POLITICAL INFLUENCE
“The little guy does not get a break. The big guys get everything.
Two of the biggest whores are the big pharmaceutical houses and Congress. They defecate on the public without thought or consideration.
An example is Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Their #1 product is the EpiPen. Forty percent of their business.
Mylan’s CEO is Heather Bresch. Her father is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Bresch is on the hot seat. For the unusual high cost of EpiPen. She is taking a beating in the media.
EpiPen is a life saver for anyone allergic to common foods. Like peanuts, shellfish and eggs. Even bee stings.
The resultant medical condition is anaphylaxis. A potentially fatal allergic reaction. Required to cure/save a life is an emergency dose of epinephrine. A quick dose.
Life can disappear rapidly from the symptoms. Shortness of breath, throat swelling, tongue swelling, vomiting, and low blood pressure. Seconds are important.
Prior to Epi Pen’s invention, anyone with anaphylaxis had to be treated by drawing epinephrine from a bottle with a syringe. Too time consuming. Death could occur in even that slight time. A quicker method was required.
Turned out to be EpiPen. EpiPen is a small machine. Looks like a big hypodermic needle. The epinephrine contained in it when purchased. If needed, a shot in the hip is all it takes. The size and force of the needle guarantees immediate introduction into the blood stream.
Mylan cornered the patents in 2007. The patents have since made millions for Mylan. Mylan today is #1 in the food allergy market. It’s U.S. market share is 90 percent.
Mylan successfully lobbied a bill through Congress requiring all public schools to carry EpiPens. Obama signed the bill into law November 2013.
Schools were and still are required to buy the EpiPens. A big time expenditure. The life of an EpiPen is one year. Ergo, each year the schools and others in need of EpiPens are required to repurchase them.
Oh, the money coming in! Mylan made its cash flow even more profitable. Mylan automatically implemented double digit price hikes every other quarter.
The genius behind Mylan’s successful marketing is Heather Bresch. CEO of Mylan.
After having cornered the market for the device in 2007, Mylan’s consumer cost has increased by 481 percent. During that time, Bresch’s salary has increased 671 percent. All in a period of nine years.
EpiPen is presently selling in excess of $600 a package. Two pens per package. To the consumer, the cost is $415. After insurance discounts.
In France, the consumer pays $85 USD.
In 2007, Bresch’s salary was $2.5 million. Today, $18.9 million.
Bresch proudly proclaims EpiPen as her “baby.”
In addition to her executive responsibilities, Bresch has acted as a lobbyist for Mylan. At one time her position at Mylan was strictly as a lobbyist. Bresch was a factor in Washington even before her father Joe Manchin became a United States Senator in 2010.
Mylan’s patent rights run out in 2018. The generic would hit the market at a significantly cheaper price than what Mylan is charging.
As Mylan CEO, Bresch successfully lobbied anti-generic legislation that will benefit Mylan in 2018. The thrust of the new law is that the FDA must first approve a generic before it can go to market. The FDA is a useless political tool. Needs redoing from top to bottom. It could take years to receive FDA approval for anti-generics. Especially Mylan’s EpiPen.
Bresch is a typical corporate CEO. The bottom line is everything. She got Mylan into inversion. She reincorporated Mylan in the Netherlands to significantly lower its effective tax rate.
Everything is as before the inversion. The plant is still in Pennsylvania. The Netherlands merely a small office.
Bresch has taken advantage of the inversion loophole in the tax laws. Laws passed over the years by Congress and signed into law by our Presidents.
Her father Senator Joe Manchin considers inversion illegal.
Regarding Bresch taking advantage of the inversion laws, she told the New York Times, “You can’t maintain a competitive disadvantage…..I mean you just can’t.”
In 2014, Fortune Magazine listed Bresch as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women In Business.” Number 31.
Joe Manchin is Heather Bresch’s Dad. A well known and respected political figure. Since 2010, he has been a United States Senator from West Virginia. A Democrat. Leans modestly left of center. Considered bipartisan. Frequently votes for Republican legislation.
A professional politician. Since 1982, he has served in the West Virginia House of Delegates, West Virginia Senate, Secretary of State for West Virginia, and Governor of West Virginia. Now, a United States Senator.
His family bears resemblance to the Bush’s. His father, grandfather and other relatives were politicians locally and at the State level.
Manchin was already a prominent politician during Bresch’s upbringing.
Sometimes a measure of a person’s character can be measured by prior life experiences. One of Bresch’s was her short lived MBA.
Bresch earned a Bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University. She attended West Virginia thereafter to obtain an MBA. She completed only 26 of the required 48 credit hours.
In 2007, Bresch was a prominent staff member at Mylan. She had been claiming she obtained an MBA from West Virginia University. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette exposed her MBA claim.
West Virginia University disputed it. However, subsequently awarded Bresch an MBA. Still with only 26 credit hours.
Her father Joe Manchin was West Virginia Governor at the time. He and West Virginia University President Michael Garrison were friends. Garrison was also a family friend and at one time a business associate of Bresch. He also had worked at one time for Mylan as a consultant and lobbyist.
Faculty and others at West Virginia were incensed. A degree given without completion of necessary work unheard of.
The Faculty Senate voted 77-19 against the situation. In effect, a vote of no confidence against Garrison. The full Faculty in an open vote, voted 565-39 with 11 abstentions. Another no confidence vote in effect of Garrison.
Garrison tendered his resignation soon after to take effect September 1, 2008.
The University rescinded Bresch’s MBA degree.
There was a grand jury investigation. No indictments were forthcoming.
The price gouging disclosure is at an infancy stage. More will come. The country appears unhappy with Bresch. TV evening luminary Stephen Colbert referred to her as a “douche.” The term has been picked up by the media and is being circulated as “douchebag.” Whatever, one and the same.
No question I am unhappy with Big Pharma and the manipulation of drug costs. I have complained in writing and on my podcast show in the past about such.
Then there is the political influence that is available to the big guys. Not the little people. The 99 percent.
Is there price gouging? Is there political influence?
Consider the facts. Then make up your own mind.
You know where I stand. There is a stink here.”
Senator Manchin has exhibited a multitude of inexplicable positions this year. Reflecting a mind that is prone to the inconsistent, concern for personal “values,” and instability. Heather has exhibited in her lifetime personal “values” such as reflected in New Face In Price Gouging, etc.
Values learned from the time she first sat on her father’s lap. As exhibited in her adult life.
Enjoy your Sunday!