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WASHINGTON (CBS NEWS/AP) – Mylan CEO Heather Bresch infuriated lawmakers as she tried to explain steep cost increases of her company’s life-saving EpiPens.
Outraged Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday grilled Bresch about the emergency allergy shot’s sky-high price and the profits for a company with sales in excess of $11 billion.
The list price of EpiPens has grown to $608 for a two-pack, an increase of more than 500 percent since 2007.
In almost four hours of questioning, the soft-spoken CEO at times seemed unsure when asked questions about the company’s finances and profits, angering lawmakers.
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah said he didn’t believe Bresch was being candid with lawmakers. Chafetz snapped at Bresch when she said the company didn’t anticipate the public outcry over the price increase. He asked: “What did you think was going to happen?”
Bresch said she wishes Mylan had “better anticipated the magnitude and acceleration” of rising prices.
Rep. John Duncan of Tennessee, who describes himself as a pro-business Republican, said he was “sickened” by the greed at Mylan. “Yet another drug company has jacked up the price of a lifesaving product for no discernible reason,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, the committee’s top-ranking Democrat.
Added Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Massachusetts: “It’s disgraceful what’s going on here. I think it’s disgusting.”
Bresch’s father is Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV).
(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)