The pharmaceutical company that makes EpiPens, has been under fire recently for the gradual price increase of the life-saving drug.
A standard 2-pack of the drug sold by Mylan now costs families about $600 after insurance. In 2009, the price was $100.
EpiPens are auto-injectors that can stop life-threatening emergencies caused by severe allergic reactions.
Now the CEO of Mylan is making headlines for her outlandish pay. The Washington Post reports that Heather Bresch, daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, received just less than $19 million in salary and perks in 2015.
Citing records from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Washington Post reported Heather Bresch's total pay grew from $2,453,456 in 2007 to $18,931,068 in 2015, a 671 percent increase.
According to the Washington Post, the time period of Bresch's pay increase goes hand-in-hand with the timing of when Mylan got the rights to EpiPens and steadily raised the average price of the drug.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed the controversy Wednesday saying, "pharmaceutical companies that often try to portray themselves as the inventors of lifesaving medication often do real damage to their reputation by being greedy and jacking up prices in a way that victimizes vulnerable Americans."
Meranda Cohn is the mother of an 8-year-old boy who suffers from fish and nut allergies. If he is exposed to an allergen, an EpiPen is needed to counter the allergic reaction until they can get him to the nearest hospital.
Cohn paid $150 for a 2-pack of EpiPens back in 2010. This year, she paid $629.
In addition to the EpiPens she carries, Cohn says her husband keeps a set, as does the school nurse and another set stays with the after-school program.
"That's four sets, so that's $2,500 or so that we need to spend this year," said Cohn. "And I'll tell you, I've only bought one set so far this year."
Cohn also emphasized that the allergies her son has aren't anything like the sniffles and runny eyes many people endure when the seasons change. His allergic reactions are life-threatening.
Mylan responded to the controversy Thursday morning, announcing that it would increase the eligibility for its patient assistance program and would cover $300 of patients' out-of-pocket expenses at the pharmacy.
• For patients in health plans who face higher out-of-pocket costs, the company is providing immediate relief by offering a savings card for up to $300. This will effectively reduce by 50% the cost exposure for patients who would have otherwise paid the full list price for EpiPen® Auto-Injector.
• Mylan also is doubling eligibility for our patient assistance program to 400% of the federal poverty level. This means a family of four making up to $97,200 would pay nothing out of pocket for their EpiPen® Auto-Injector.
• Further, Mylan will continue to offer the EpiPen4Schools® program. The program, launched inAugust 2012, has provided more than 700,000 free epinephrine auto-injectors and educational resources to more than 65,000 schools nationwide to help them be prepared for anaphylaxis events among students.
• Mylan also is opening a pathway so that patients can order EpiPen® Auto-Injector directly from the company, thereby reducing the cost.
Members of Congress are urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate price increase, as well as the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Mylan has used incentives and exclusionary contracts to deny an alternative product to hit the market.