I didn’t believe it when I heard it, and you probably didn’t either — but America was forced to humour the CEO of Mylan when she told Congress that she raised the price of an EpiPen to improve access for patients, not to make money.
Now we really don’t have to believe it.
On Monday, the company released revised profit figures for its life-saving EpiPen. Last week, Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch testified before a House committee that her company only makes $100 per EpiPen pack.
Turns out, according to newly released numbers, that the company makes at least $60 more than that. Mylan had used a much higher tax rate than it pays to calculate the original figure (whoops).
The numbers also hint that Bresch may have been reaching on another point she kept making at the hearing. Over and over she said that the company raised the price of the EpiPen in order to improve access to the drug.
Part of that, Bresch said in an interview with CNBC last month, is ensuring that all parties who touch the drug get paid.
“In the system that’s broken today, your products aren’t going to get to patients because of… all the middle men you just talked about,” she told CNBC’s Brian Sullivan.
The numbers Mylan presented on Monday showing gross profit margins above 70% from the life-saving allergy medication contradict that:
You would think that if Mylan were spending its money on middle men its margins would go down even as the cost of goods sold and volume went up. But they’re not. Mylan’s margins are fattening at a steady clip, and have been since the company purchased the EpiPen.
That’s an indication that the money Mylan is making is just that — Mylan’s money and no one else’s.
It’s not like members of Congress didn’t see this coming. Business Insider received a statement from Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD). He’s the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, which called the Mylan hearing in the first place.
“We didn’t believe Mylan’s numbers last week during their CEO’s testimony, and we don’t believe them this week either, which is why we gave them ten days from the date of our hearing to produce their internal files,” Cummings said. “They have until this Friday to give Congress the underlying documents we asked for back in August so we can finally determine the company’s actual profits in each year for the last decade.”
Honestly, do you really think Heather Bresch took home $18 million in 2015 and doesn’t know how much money her company makes?
This is an editorial. The opinions and conclusions expressed above are those of the author.