The Mylan CEO’s senator father backs away from drug price discussions

The pharmaceutical company Mylan has been in the hot seat with members of Congress over the price of the EpiPen.

The device, used in emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions, costs more than 500% more than it did when Mylan acquired it in 2007.

To make things more complicated, Mylan’s CEO Heather Bresch is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Bloomberg caught up with the senator Tuesday to discuss his daughter and the pricing debate in the pharmaceutical industry, a conversation Manchin didn’t seem to want to be a part of. 

“We make a point ever since I’ve been in this position, and when I was governor, we made a point, we just didn’t get involved. It’s so convoluted. I don’t understand,” Manchin told Bloomberg Politics’ Steven Dennis. “To get into something you don’t understand and your daughter being in this type of industry it was best I stayed away.”

In the past few weeks, Mylan has found itself facing accusations that it overcharged Medicaid and an investigation into whether it violated antitrust laws with its EpiPen4Schools program. Lawmakers have been asking for federal investigations and hearings to get more details on how Mylan set the price of the EpiPen.

To fend off public outrage over the EpiPen’s cost, Mylan recently raised its copay-coupon system to cover $300 of people’s out-of-pocket costs for those with commercial insurance (a two-pack of the EpiPen has a list price of about $600). The company has also said that it would make an “authorised generic” version of the EpiPen that would cost $300 for a two-pack, half the list price of the branded drug. 

Manchin did also give off all the signs of a proud father, telling Bloomberg,”My daughter is my daughter with unconditional love and she’s the most amazing person that I know of as far as not only being accomplished, but just, she’s so compassionate and generous in how she’s always lived her life.”

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