Mylan, the manufacturer of the EpiPen used by children and adults with deadly allergies, has raised the price of this lifesaving device from $100 to $600 since they acquired it in 2007.
The company has moved overseas to avoid United States income taxes. And, the CEO, Heather Bresch, has seen her salary go from almost $2.5 million to almost $19 million. On top of all of this Bresch blames the outrageous price increases on the common practices of the pharmaceutical industry.
Since when does the actions of other people justify our actions? Since when does the actions of other companies justify our company’s actions? And, when does someone step up and say, “We’re going to do what’s right, period”?
Well, I went to see what Mylan said their values are and boy was I surprised. On their website it states that one of their values is Integrity. Not only that, they go on to define it as, “Doing what’s right is sacred to us. We behave responsibly, even when nobody’s looking. We set high standards from which we never back down. This uncompromising ethical stance helps to keep our products pure, our workers safe and the environment clean.”
Wow, these are great words but they are actually worthless unless they are the foundation for actual decisions at Mylan. What is right for their customers? What is right for the people who depend on this device for their very lives? Is it okay to raise prices over and over under the guise of “we have a right to prices base on supply and demand” just so they can make more money at everyone’s expense?
Raising prices may be what is right for stockholders in the short-run but I would challenge the leaders of any organization that what is really right for everyone involved in the long-run is always going to be a better decision.
When a company states that they have a value and their decisions and actions do not align with that value then they really don’t have the value, they are not being accountable to anyone inside their organization or outside, and ultimately, they are deceiving everyone they come in contact with.