MylanPharmaceutical Company is responsible for the manufacture and supplyof EpiPens which are devices used to administer Epinephrine as thetreatment for anaphylaxis. In the year 2007, the company bought therights to make the device and since then the prices have soaredsignificantly to date. Quite recently, the pharmaceutical firm hascome under heavy fire and criticism concerning the persistent rise inprice despite the fact that the drug is vital for those who may needit. Several indicators point to the possibility of attaining moreprofit while disregarding the health of the patients. The initialprice stood at $57 but today, a pack consisting of two pens will costan individual close to $600. Apparently, the cost of production isnot high enough to warrant the large price hike since it costs about$30 to produce the medicine plus the administering device. Severalother occurrences have taken place to suggest that there is foul playcoupled with greed. Not only was a competitor pulled out in the year2015 but also an inflation in prices took place with an amountnearing 15% increase. Most analysts purport that the increment couldbe due to the lack of stiff competition as well as corporate gluttonyfor money. In its defense, the Chief executive officer of the companyexplained that the intensive operations in research, development, andinnovation to improve the drug contributed to this change. However,despite the excuses, the fact of the matter remains clear thatpatients who need the medication may not be able to afford it in thetime of need. Since the employment of the new CEO Bresch, the pricehas seen an approximately 400% increase [ CITATION Mat16 l 1033 ].
Thereare very many aspects that facilitated this particular phenomenon.Most of these things were uncovered as the saga came to light. Firstand foremost, the staff and the CEO took advantage of the lack ofmarket competition. A few years ago, the only possible competitor waskicked out of the race leaving Mylan the sole producer and supplierof the medicine. This, therefore, means that the company could nameany price especially because it is a life-saving commodity and thereare no alternative sources. However, critics point out that justbecause one can play with the values doesn’t necessarily mean thatit is right to do so. Secondly, the company members did not put intoconsideration the importance of having a proper supply chain system.The shrewd marketing efforts have seen the involvement of retailer,suppliers and other pharmaceutical outlets who also get a piece ofthe cake. As such, while Mylan acquires $274 from the medicine, theother groups in the chain are responsible for the additional $326 [ CITATION Jam16 l 1033 ].The Chief executiveofficer tried to rationalize the situation by mentioning that theexorbitant pricing is related to activities including but not limitedto manufacturing, distribution, product enhancement, and companyinvestment.
Anotherfacet that the company took advantage of is the demand for the drug.Anaphylaxis is a medical condition which can be experienced by anyoneat any time. A significant number of the population is likely todevelop the reaction, and the repercussions can be fatal. Because theallergy medication is paramount, huge numbers of people feel the needto have it and thus the prescriptions rose to an excess of 3.6million. Possibly, the Mylan team took into consideration this highdemand and subsequently effected their price, quite aware of theirpower over the consumers. They knew that because of the importance ofthe drug, then people will continue buying despite the high prices.Furthermore, it is clear that the entire firm is all out on businessor rather that’s what the CEO meant by claiming that “Mylan`slobbyists are hard at work with legislators to create laws thatbroaden the market for the product…And, it`s just business.” TheMylan team doesn’t seem to care much about the pricing. On thecontrary, they are focusing on expanding the business and marketcoverage. Their primary objective is to maintain the supply anddemand of the population while making the highest possible profitmargins. Evidence to this is shown by the high salary increments moreso that of the CEO who received a 700% remuneration increase sinceshe started working for the corporate [ CITATION Set16 l 1033 ].
Oneprimary tool that was utilized heavily by the company is thepractical legislation measures which require public schools,restaurants, and other relevant public places to stock the drug. Thesaga brought to light the fact that the CEO is the daughter to one ofthe senators hence a possibility that there could be a conflict ofinterest or influence to the passage of legislation in 30 of thestates. This loophole was utilized effectively by the company tocorner the market through bills. As such, the demand was widened, andthe sales increased drastically. Apparently, the company and its teamused the available opportunities of poor competition, legislation andthe high number of reported cases of anaphylaxis to market theprescription and get more profits than what is necessary [ CITATION Set16 l 1033 ].
Thedecisions made by the company to act the way it did later led to therise of grave consequences. Not only did the company receivecriticisms by media and individuals but also from the politicalsphere. Things that were previously unknown about the CEO have begunto be investigated such as the relationship between the Senator andthe possibility of education falsification. The consumers have alsobeen adversely affected by the decisions since they have had to payextra amounts to procure the medication. Likewise, those withinsurance policies have seen increments in their covers. The negativeand unwanted attention by the media brought to light the happeningsand more often than not, exaggerations would not miss in describingthe greed and opportunistic nature of this company. It is for thisreason that even the stock price of Mylan fell by approximately 11%.The worst of the consequences were based on journalist investigationswhich revealed lobbying efforts to make schools stock the drug, taxinversion, and scandals concerning the MBA of the CEO surfaced.Afterward, the firm was forced to help the consumers with theadditional cost through co-payment. This incident not only causedpublic embarrassment to the pharma industry but also raised questionsconcerning the roles of manufacturers to issue products atcompetitive prices despite the absence of substantial competition.Therefore, despite being recognized as a quality provider of genericmedication, Mylan has now fallen short of the praise due to the lackof sensitivity based on resources and access to healthcare [ CITATION Mat16 l 1033 ].It would thus require a lot of Public Relations activities to recoverthe proper name of the corporate as well as that of the staffespecially the CEO herself. It is also a warning to any otherpharmaceutical company that would try todo the same. The consequence of rash decisions concerning pricing andhuge profit margins is indeed a serious one.
Arenstein, S. (2016, August 31). Digging Deeper on the EpiPen Crisis. Retrieved from PR News: http://www.prnewsonline.com/prnewsblog/2016/08/31/digging-deeper-on-the-epipen/
Egan, M. (2016, August 29). How EpiPen came to symbolize corporate greed. Retrieved from CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/29/investing/epipen-price-rise-history/
Kerr, J. (2016, October 10). The Mylan EpiPen Debacle: How Tremendous Greed Can Lead to the Demise of a Leader. Retrieved from Inc: http://www.inc.com/james-kerr/the-mylan-epipen-debacle-how-tremendous-greed-can-lead-to-the-demise-of-a-leader.html