The CEO behind the EpiPen says she’s on President Donald Trump’s side when it comes to taking on the rising price of prescription drugs.
She just doesn’t like how he plans to do it.
In an interview with CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell, Heather Bresch, whose company Mylan came under fire for hiking up the price of EpiPen, praised the Trump administration for bringing attention to rising drug prices and demanding they come down.
“I couldn’t agree with him more,” she said. “I think if we’ve ever had a moment in time or administration that’s willing to be disruptive, I think President Trump has shown that he’s willing to make tough decisions, hard decisions, but the right decisions.”
Trump has said that he’s going to bring down drug prices, and that he thinks drug companies are “getting away with murder.”
One of the ways he hopes to do this is through negotiating drug prices through Medicare and Medicaid, something that isn’t possible now. When O’Donnell asked if Bresch would support changing the law to allow for that negotiation to happen, Bresch changed her tune.
“No, I don’t know that that’s the answer,” she said. “What I would support is that we look holistically at how pharmaceutical pricing is done today and what is the best way to make it market-driven, and give transparency to the patient walking up to the counter that they know what they’re buying.”
After getting called out for the $608 list price for a two-pack of EpiPens — an increase of about 500% from the $100 list price the devices had back in 2009 — Mylan has tried to shift the blame onto middlemen, such as pharmacy benefit managers and wholesalers that get a cut of the list price of the EpiPen.
It’s true that the PBMs are a factor in the rising price of drugs, but the PBM’s lobbying group told CBS that they help bring prices down for employers and patients and saying they are “part of the solution.”
Bresch took a different tone on the drug-pricing issue than the group that represents branded pharmaceutical companies. Earlier this week, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, (PhRMA) kicked off a multi-year ad campaign to try and shift the criticism the industry’s been getting on drug pricing onto the more positive topic of “revolutionary biopharmaceutical science,” choosing to look beyond the list price hikes its members routinely take.
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