When last we met the Four Thieves Vinegar collective -- a group of anarchist scientists who combine free/open chemistry with open source hardware in response to shkrelic gouging by pharma companies -- they were announcing the epipencil, a $30 DIY alternative to the Epipen, Mylan's poster-child for price-gouging and profiteering on human misery.
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The FDA's Sept 6 warning letter to Epipen manufacturer Meridian (a division of Pfizer) condemns the company for knowingly shipping out defective products that led to the death of the customers who paid hyper-inflated prices for the devices, which Meridian manufactured for notorious pharma profiteers Mylan. Read the rest
The board of directors at Mylan have rewarded former CEO Robert Coury with a $98m bonus as he steps into the executive chairman's role, having overseen a price-gouging scandal over the Epipens used by people prone to life-threatening allergic reactions. Read the rest
Didn't it seem strange that Mylan, the pharmaceutical company that makes the EpiPen, enjoyed a stock price rally when the news came out in October that it was going to have to give the US government $465 million for overcharging Medicare? Well, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General says that Mylan overcharged taxpayers by $1.27 billion, making the half-billion dollar payout a simple cost-of-doing business expense.
Mylan, the scummy firm that jacked up the price of a single EpiPen injector from $57 to $500, deliberately misclassified the EpiPen as a generic drug, which allowed them to charge more for the life-saving medication.
The late afternoon news dropped the stock price of Mylan by 1 percent and tomorrow’s trading will show just how big a deal for the company this problem will be in the short term. Shareholders are pissed and a group of four institional investors are calling for six directors of the company to be blocked from reelection. The investors say that the directors have caused Mylan “significant reputational and financial harm.”
Mylan didn't invent the EpiPen, it acquired it in 2007, getting a drug that had been approved since 1987 and had 90 percent market dominance. Nor does it manufacture the EpiPen itself. Mylan buys it from a wholly owned Pfizer subsidiary for $34.50 per pen.
Mylan Chairman Robert Coury made $160 million 2016.
From a CNBC interview with Mylan CEO Heather Bresch:
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CNBC’s Brian Sullivan interjected, asking her to explain how the price of the drug could go from $100 five years ago to $600 today.
The price of Epipens -- purchased annually by people with severe allergies and stocked in the first-aid cabinets of schools, businesses, and ambulances -- more than quintupled in a decade, thanks to the tactics of Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (daughter of Senator Joe Manchin [D-WV]), who took home a 671% raise for her work, which raised this lifesaving technology's pricetag beyond the reach of many people, who turned to low-cost DIY alternatives. Read the rest
Mylan, the company with a monopoly on FDA-improved epinephrine auto-injectors ("epipens") has quintupled the price of their life-saving technology since 2004, to $600/unit (and they have the be thrown out and replaced every year); for this, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch (daughter of US senator Joe Manchin, who secured her initial job interview through political connections while he was Governor of West Virginia, moving her laterally from her gig as an aerobics instructor) received a 671% raise , bringing her compensation up to $18,931,068. Read the rest
The head of the pharmaceutical company that makes EpiPens raised the price of the life-saving device by over 400%. She was rewarded with a 671% raise. Read the rest
Epipens -- self-injection sticks carried by people with deadly allergies, which have to be replaced twice a year -- were developed by NASA at taxpayer expense, were patented by a government scientist who receives no royalties, require no marketing, and have gone from as little as $60 each to up to $606 in a few short years (during which time the company has switched to selling them exclusively in two-packs). Read the rest
This is from a 1994 episode of The Tonight Show host by Jay Leno. This clip begins after Leno interviewed Burt Reynolds, who is sitting to the left of an empty chair reserved for the next guest, Marc Summers (host of Nickelodeon's game show Double Dare). Before Summers comes out, Leno shows a scene from Double Dare where Summers gets repeatedly hit by pies from some kind of pie throwing machine.
Leno asks him about it, and Summers says that it is weird for him to be the host of a messy show because he is a "neatness freak." (Summers has OCD) For some reason, that strikes a nerve with Reynolds, who starts making sourfaced verbal jabs. Summers makes a crack about still being married (Reynolds had just gone through a messy divorce with Loni Anderson) and Reynolds grabs a mug of water and tosses it on Summers. It goes downhill from there. Leno does nothing to stop it because he knows good TV when he sees it.
If you want to know the backstory (and it's fascinating to hear Summers describe it), here's the chapter about the incident from Summers' book, Everything In its Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
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Good news for people with life-threatening allergies who need to carry around EpiPen injectors. A new auto-injector is coming that is smaller and has a longer shelf life. It's called Abiliject. Read the rest
Pfizer's patent on pregabalin -- an anti-epilepsy med -- expires this year, but there's another patent on using the public domain drug to treat neuropathic pain; in a shocking letter to UK doctors, the pharma giant warns of dire consequences should medical professionals dare to prescribe the generic for the patented use. Read the rest