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USA Today On EpiPen Saga: Calling It 'Controversial' Is Far From Haphazard

USA Today On EpiPen Saga: Calling It 'Controversial' Is Far From Haphazard

Mylan NV (NASDAQ: MYL)'s EpiPen controversy, in which the company may have been unjustified in raising the cost of its life saving device over the years, is far from over. Even though Mylan's CEO Heather Bresch sat in front of a U.S. House Oversight panel this week to defend the company's business model, there is little reason to be optimistic that much will change, at least in the near term.

Related Link: Jim Cramer: The Pharmaceutical "Good Guys" Need To Stand Up

USA Today offered five key takeaways from Bresch's comments and the EpiPen controversy as it currently stands.

1. Few Solutions

As many had expected, Bresch's testimony was "heavy on rhetoric" and "light on answers."

Lectures from politicians and lawmakers were also "plentiful," such as those from Rep. Elijah Cummings who blasted Mylan for wanting to "get filthy rich at the expense of our constituents."

As for actual ideas on how to proceed, they are "nowhere to be found."

2. No Regrets

Bresch attempted to shift the blame away from Mylan towards the "complexity" of the healthcare system. In fact, she made it appear that its actual profit is just $100 for a two-pack. However, USA Today suggested this still represents a significant profit margin considering the treatment has barely changed for decades.

3. Bresch Thinks Her Pay Is Fair

Bresch confirmed during the hearing her total compensation for 2015 was $18.9 million — a figure she claimed to be middleground for top executives at pharmaceutical companies.

A USA Today review found her compensation claim of being "in the middle" relative to peers at other firms to be "generally accurate." However, as a whole, Mylan has the second-highest executive compensation in the entire drug industry.

4. Roll With The Punches

Drug companies are now taking a "roll with the punches" approach. In essence, drug companies will continue raising their prices, take a few punches and then carry on as if its business as usual.

5. A Small Win For EpiPen Customers?

Finally, Bresch confirmed the company will work toward creating an EpiPen with a shelf life of 24 months, which would be an improvement over the current version that expires in 18 months.

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