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Friday, January 13, 2017

CVS is now an enemy of EpiPen Joe

CVS will sell a generic version of the EpiPen for one-sixth the price.

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin's greatest fear just came true. His daughter's drug company sells EpiPens and over the years Manchin and his wife have helped peddle the high-priced drug injector.

Indeed, as a state senator, Manchin leaned on Mylan founder and CEO Milan Puskar to hire his daughter, Heather Bresch right out of college.

As governor, he appointed her friend, Michael Garrison, as WVU president. Garrison arranged for Bresch to get an MBA. That fake degree allowed Bresch to qualify as chief operations officer when Puskar sold Mylan to a German firm.

Bresch is now CEO. The company is now incorporated in the Netherlands, not the USA.

Her mother -- Joe Manchin's wife -- Gayle Manchin hawked EpiPens as president of the National Association of School Boards. Thousands of schools bought one in a promotional deal.

In their 2010 race for the Senate, Republican John Raese said there were two Manchins -- Charleston Joe and Washington Joe.

Wrong. There is only one now: EpiPen Joe.

But now CVS pharmacy has hit the Family Manchin in the wallet.

From the Associated Press:
CVS is now selling a rival, generic version of Mylan's EpiPen at about a sixth of its price, just months after the maker of the life-saving allergy treatment was eviscerated before Congress because of its soaring cost to consumers.
The drugstore chain says it will charge $109.99 for a two-pack of the authorized generic version of Adrenaclick, a lesser-known treatment compared to EpiPen, which can cost more than $600.
CVS Health Corp., the nation's second-largest drugstore chain, says it cut the price it charges for the generic version of Adrenaclick nearly in half. The lower price is now available at all CVS stores. The chain runs about 9,600 retail pharmacies in the United States, including several locations inside Target stores.
These treatments are stocked by schools and parents of children with severe allergies. They are used in emergencies to stop anaphylaxis, the potentially fatal allergic reactions to insect bites and stings and foods like nuts and eggs.
The syringes are filled with the hormone epinephrine, and they expire after a year. That often forces patients to fill new prescriptions even if they never used the old one.
Mylan NV started taking heat late last summer for its EpiPen pricing, which has climbed more than 500 percent since 2007. A Congressional panel grilled CEO Heather Bresch in September about the soaring cost, which she has blamed in part on insurers, pharmacy benefits managers and other middlemen that stand between the drugmaker and the customer.
Bresch is one of several pharmaceutical executives who have been called to Congress, where both Republicans and Democrats have demanded explanations for spiraling drug prices, which can plunge patients into debt or force them to skip prescriptions.
President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday during a press conference that he wants to create new bidding procedures on drugs to save money.
If Democrats take back the Senate in 2018, look for a congressional investigation into CVS.

Family first.


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  1. It sounds like a modern day Opium War - drugs, profits, accessibility, greed, mandates, etc. There just had to be Democrats involved. Considering the current political climate in West Virginia and Washington, D.C., a little voice inside my head (no, not that one) is telling me that “Go-With-The-Flow Joe” will flip Republican. Otherwise, he will be relegated to a much-deserved retirement following the 2018 election. - Elric

    1. Status Quo Joe! Saw him in the hallway at a WVU Bball game. The guy is a milquetoast. He has all the commanding presence of a hamster. We don't need Joe up here in DubVee. Stay Dem, Joe. Because it will be real fun to see Alex Mooney kick your ass in a little less than two years...

  2. Drug price gouging is a very serious issue!!!
    Thank you Don, for taking this issue seriously.
    Am still flabbergasted that an individual poster here for whom I had had great respect was so flippant or just down right ornery with regards this issue.

  3. Weren't the generics pulled from the market for safety/efficacy issues which lead to the price gouging by EpiPen? Then there was one being marketed in the EU but the FDA wouldn't approve it for the U.S. market.

    We should be thanking EpiPen for their efforts that could have revealed the ongoing problems with generics and the FDA's approval process. Instead, attack EpiPen and never get at the root of the problem.

    How come nobody talks about price gouging by Apple? They are paying pennies on the dollar for the manufacturing of iPhones. Their marketing is huge. Their profit margin is even bigger.

    1. (1) An iPhone is not a matter of life-and-death.
      (2) There are plenty of alternatives to Apple's products.

      -Mikey NTH

    2. Samsung, baby.
      My adroid makes me happy.
      I do 90+% of my interweb surfing and posting via my lovely android platform device (Heck, it's a handmedown from the techno geek wifey).
      Btw. Big difference between 38% profit and 338% profit

    3. Epinephrine is in the public domain. It is the delivery systems that are patentable. The FDA assumes that we are all too stupid to be able to draw a med and deliver it ourselves like most diabetics do every day. If this were allowed you could get the stuff dirt cheap. Having regs that require it in these dose formulations with automatic injection is what raises the price and the big pharma companies love this. Big business loves big government.

    4. Except it's kinda hard to pull up a dose of epinephrine when you are going into anaphylactic shock.

  4. Would WV republicans accept Manchin as a Dem turncoat? Would they, could they, trust him? I suspect NOT.

    1. He has from now until the next election in 2018 to prove himself. Personally, I agree with you, but politicians can and will do desperate things to try to keep their phoney baloney jobs. If he thinks flipping will work for him I believe he'll try it. - Elric