I imagine Heather Bresch is frustrated right now. She's seen their stock price plunge 12% in the past few weeks since this controversy blew up in their faces. Bresch does a woeful job at damage control in this interview, the full length of which was nearly twenty minutes. Bresch could not adequately explain why her EpiPens which retail for $600 per set in the United States only cost about $100 in Canada and the UK, although she blamed the health-care system. That's about a 600% increase since Mylan took over the manufacture and distribution in 2009. And oddly enough, Bresch also stumbled when asked about her own 671% increase in salary over those years, from about $2.4m to $18.6m today.
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch struggled Thursday to justify the repeated big price hikes of the company's lifesaving EpiPen devices as criticism continued that Mylan is gouging consumers with a retail cost of more than $600.
"No one's more frustrated than me," Bresch told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday when she was pressed on the question of why Mylan needed to have such a high price for EpiPens, and why she just didn't cut their price.
"Everybody should be frustrated," said Bresch, who in recent days has come under fire from U.S. Senators, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and patients who are outraged by EpiPen's 400-percent price increases in recent years.
Mylan, in response to that criticism, announced Thursday increased rebates to many consumers who rely on the devices, which are used to counteract potentially fatal allergic reactions known as anaphylaxis.
Bresch argued that the problem of drug prices isn't with Mylan or even the pharmaceutical industry, but instead with a health-care system that often requires consumers to pay not just insurance premiums also out-of-pocket for prescription medications, sometimes to the full retail price.