A number of drug companies have been criticised for the increased prices of their medication over the past few years.
Mylan, the company that makes the emergency allergy medication EpiPen, was one of them.
According to a new report by The New York Times, the outrage had been a long time coming — Mylan employees were concerned about the price increases as early as 2014.
At one point, the employees brought it up with Mylan’s chairman Robert Coury.
Here’s how that went, as reported (with profanities removed) by Charles Duhigg at The New York Times:
“Mr. Coury replied that he was untroubled. He raised both his middle fingers and explained, using colourful language, that anyone criticising Mylan, including its employees, ought to go copulate with themselves. Critics in Congress and on Wall Street, he said, should do the same. And regulators at the Food and Drug Administration? They, too, deserved a round of anatomically challenging self-fulfillment.”
Mylan did not immediately return a request for comment on the account.
It wasn’t until August 2016 that Mylan was called out by politicians and the public for raising the price of the EpiPen to $US608.61 from $US93.88 over the past decade. Since then, Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch has had to testify before Congress, class action lawsuits have been filed against the company, and in May, Mylan was accused of overcharging the US government by $US1.27 billion for EpiPens.
Coury originally served as CEO of Mylan from 2002 to 2011. Until June 2016, Coury served as executive chairman, a role he held since 2012 when Heather Bresch became CEO. According to filings, Coury made roughly $US98 million in 2016, the same year in which the company faced criticism for the price of the EpiPen and the stock fell almost 30%, according to company filings.
Even after the outrage the drug faced, the price of the branded EpiPen hasn’t changed, Duhigg noted on a recent trip to the pharmacy, though the company did introduce a generic that has a list price of $US300.