Corporate America and its sickening greed reared its ugly head once again after Mylan, the company that makes life-saving EpiPens (epinephrine), drove up the cost of the product by 400 percent, asking struggling parents to fork over $600 for the device. The fact that Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase, has caused her shady company to be investigated by the Congressional Judiciary Committee.
But that’s not the worst part.
Heather Bresh, who appears to have been inspired by pharma bro Martin Shkreli, just so happens to be the daughter of powerful West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. Can anyone say awkward? Manchin is not a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has shown the most interest in probing Mylan’s pricing practices, and so far the senator has remained silent on the issue.
“Right now we don’t have any comment,” Manchin spokesman Jon Kott said in an email Tuesday.
When a politician remains silent on an issue it typically means they’re trying to buy time to figure out a way to cover their ass. And Manchin has every reason to do so considering his uncomfortably close ties to his soulless daughter’s company. For example, Mylan employees and the company’s PAC contributed a total of $60,750 to Manchin between 2011 and 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Things got even more awkward and shady for Manchin when in 2014, through a deal with Abbott Laboratories, Mylan was able to incorporate in the Netherlands — a move that let it lower its tax bill through an act known as corporate inversion.
This underhanded practice has been roundly criticized by President Obama, who has called inversions an “unpatriotic tax loophole.”
During a 2014 interview with the National Journal, Manchin was asked whether the shady tax move engineered by his daughter was the right thing to do for companies. Manchin didn’t answer the question directly, but instead gave a boilerplate answer:
“I think basically inversion should be absolutely repealed,” he told National Journal.
In short, now we see why both Democrats and Republicans haven’t done anything about price gouging by Big Pharma.
Featured image via Getty| Drew Angerer