Mylan CEO Heather Bresch defended her $19 million dollar salary on CNBC Thursday amid criticism for hiking the price of the lifesaving EpiPen over 500 percent.
“I understand better than anyone that facts are inconvenient to headlines,” Bresch said. “And why I’m here today and why I want to change this conversation, like I said, first of all, so everyone has access.”
The EpiPen now costs between $600 and 700 for a standard two-pack, according to the Chicago Tribune, and the major price increase coincided with the time she acquired the rights to them and her own salary spiked:
According to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, Bresch’s total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068 from 2007 to 2015. That’s a striking 671 percent increase. That period coincides with the time when Mylan acquired the rights to EpiPens and steadily hiked the average wholesale price from about $55 to $320.
Bresch is the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.). Colleagues of Manchin have called for investigations and for Bresch to sit for a hearing on her company’s pricing strategy.
“I am aware of the questions my colleagues and many parents are asking, and frankly, I share their concerns about the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs,” Manchin said in a statement.
Bresch defended the price increase, saying that over the past eight years that every person who has needed an EpiPen has received one. Mylan announced Thursday that it will provide a rebate card worth up to $300 for those who paid the full price of the device out-of-pocket, cutting the price by 50 percent.
“As the health insurance environment has evolved, driven by the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, patients and families enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans, who are uninsured, or who pay cash at the pharmacy, have faced higher costs for their medicine,” Mylan said in a statement.