During Mylan’s EpiPen pricing controversy, CEO Heather Bresch blamed “middlemen” for more than half of EpiPen’s cost. Now the company is looking to cut them out while also eyeing a lucrative new sales avenue for the company’s key product.
Mylan has been lobbying for “entity prescription” legislation to allow public gathering places such as hotels, college campuses and parks to purchase the epinephrine injectors and keep them available in case of emergency.
The company also has plans to offer EpiPens directly with its own pharmacy and avoid pharma middlemen, Bloomberg reports. According to Mylan’s website, the company set up Mylan On Location “to help businesses, organizations and institutions offer immediate care in emergency situations.” EpiPen is the first product available through the program.
By offering its product directly and cutting out distributors, Mylan can offer the market a significant discount while making the same profit, Michael Rea, CEO of Rx Savings Solutions, told the news service.
“It’s this kind of disruption in the pharmaceutical pricing model that we’re ripe for,” pharmacist Brad Arthur told the publication.
During Mylan’s EpiPen pricing defense, CEO Heather Bresch placed some of the blame on the supply chain, arguing that pharma “middlemen” account for more than half of EpiPen’s cost.
Things have been tough for Mylan since lawmakers placed the company’s key product in their watchdog crosshairs. Over several months, countless news reports highlighted multiple price hikes and a Medicaid misclassification that cost the company $465 million to settle with the DOJ. Last month, Mylan said it would lay off less than 10% of its global workforce, potentially translating to thousands of jobs on the chopping block.
To expand EpiPen’s reach, Mylan has been supporting “public entity legislation” to allow public places to purchase the lifesaving injections, Bresch said at a 2015 conference. “Really anywhere you are congregating there should be access to an EpiPen,” she added. At least 28 states now have such laws.
The strategy runs similar to Mylan’s partnership with Disney, struck back in 2014, enabling the entertainment company to keep EpiPens stocked at its theme parks and cruise ships.