The EpiPen: Made in the USA, and THAT’S the PROBLEM!
By Dante Vitoria August 30, 2016
OK, I GET IT! Yeah, yeah the EpiPen costs too much…Ready? SHUT UP! We LIVE in a country where we are supposed to be C A P I T A L I S T S, remember?
Ok, here is the REAL DEAL! Back in 1973, when yours truly was sporting my Catholic School uniform, right down to the Penny Loafers (mine ALWAYS had shiny new pennies, just saying) a bright NASA scientist named Sheldon Kaplan invented the “ComboPen” today known as the “EpiPen”.
Mr. Kaplan (God rest his soul) THOUGHT he was working for the U.S. Government and protecting the country that not only he dedicated his career and most of his adult life to advancing, and PROTECTING.
In actuality, he was working for a company named “Survival Technology”, the owner of a defense contract for this invention. They received millions of dollars, and by the way, they received MILLIONS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS (“TPD’S”), to fully finance the R&D for the “ComboPen”. Finally, after MILLIONS of “TPD’s”, success, it was perfected!
Flash-forward to today… a company named Mylan sells a “two pack” of EpiPens for $600 BUCKS! NICE! I know, I hear you …”HOW IS THAT FAIR, POSSIBLE OR LEGAL?” Well, IT IS fair and it is legal, just ask West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D) (hmmm…we will get back to him in a moment).
The U.S. Government gives, YES GIVES, and there is the PROBLEM. Billions of TAX DOLLARS (yours and MINE) go to develop and fund almost ANYTHING. That is actually a GREAT THING to do. It’s how our country will grow and develop and improve “quality of life” for all Americans AND the REST of the world.
Here is the PROBLEM…duck Senator Manchin, here I COME…this money should NOT be given…it should be LENT!!! Now, I am sure you who follow The Inferno are saying “wait Mr. Vitoria”…YES LENT!
Here it goes in a nutshell:
If XYZ Corporation is awarded $100 Million for R&D and the product comes to market, then XYZ Corp OWES the U.S. one of the following:
1. $200 Million
2. $100 Million in cash AND $200 Million in PRODUCT
3. OR any combination of the above.
Sure…there would be NO PRODUCT without “TPD’s” (TAXPAYER DOLLARS). NO “TPD’s” = No Product. I am in no way advocating that the U.S. Government OWN companies etc. That is the path to HELL, or at least Communism (next door neighbors by the way).
The CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, is being compared to Martin Shkreli. Remember him? The former Pharma CEO that raised the price of an AIDS drug 5000% overnight. Well anyway, Heather claims the comparison is unfair. I agree with her. Shkreli was NOT the SON of a UNITED STATES SENATOR from West VIRGINIA named Joe Manchin. Lovely Heather calls THAT Senator “Dad”! Is anyone from the SEC paying attention to ANYTHING at all?
Again, I am ALL FOR CAPITALISM, if it’s on an even playing field (or at least the appearance of one, right Jamie Dimon)? Too bad for J. Michael Pearson, the former McKinsey consultant who took over Valeant Pharmaceuticals and raised drug prices sky high. No Heather, you shouldn’t be compared to these CEO’s …YOU ARE MUCH WORSE!
You have moved quickly to do damage control, perhaps you learned that from some of “Daddy’s friends” in the DNC? You are quick to point a finger at Shkreli. You told Katie Thomas of The New York Times that the price increases of the EpiPen were not in “the same hemisphere” as what Mr. Shkreli did…GREAT HEATHER…point out the shortcomings of others to make YOURSELF look good. The first play in the Democratic play book.
BUT it is FAR WORSE for lil Heather and the rest of the titans of industry who have roamed the halls of that STELLAR company, Mylan!
Here are just a few tidbits:
Robert J. Coury, the former Mylan CEO and now Chairman used the corporate jet to attend his son’s music concerts.
In 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that a Board Member had “undisclosed” ties to land where Mylan built its new corporate offices.
Mylan “relocated” its headquarters to the Netherlands, to block a takeover that shareholders favored, and changed its U.S. tax rate!
And my favorite one of all…
Sweet lil Heather received her business degree, from that FINE INSTITUTION, University of West Virginia …10 years AFTER she attended the University…BUT the good news…she completed ALMOST half of her requirements to obtain that degree!
I know, I’m picking, right? Well, she is MUCH SMARTER than I am, and here’s why: In 2007, Mylan acquired EpiPen. Lil Heather (the Scholar that she is) earned $2.5 Million as the company’s COO. Her salary in 2015…almost $19 Million. This information comes directly from Mylan’s company fillings (which the SEC has copies of…HINT, HINT).
The reason given by Mylan: “…because she has contributed significantly to the company’s growth in recent years”. Heather said the reason for the salary increase was: “…my West Virginia upbringing had informed her approach to serving as chief executive.” And this GEM…”There is a work ethic and grit about that that allows me to help make a difference”.
Oh, very true, look at the difference you have caused in the lives of all those who NEED an EpiPen.
Daddy MUST be proud…wonder if he has a consulting gig lined up after he retires from Public Service. And I will leave you with this comment from “lil” Heather when asked about the drastic increase in price, she replied: “…the $600 list price was necessary for the company to recoup its investment in the EpiPen, which includes raising awareness for severe allergic reactions…”
Well THANKS Heather! I am SURE those who suffer a “severe allergic reaction” are so GRATEFUL you raised the cost of the EpiPen, to make them aware!
You may have a career in Politics as well!
Dante Vitoria is the Founder and CEO of The Vitoria Group in New York City.