Mylan is giving capitalism a bad name. They manufacture the most popular epinephrine auto-injector called EpiPen. This is a device

They made news by quadrupling the retail price. Patients are supposed to carry two of them, and they need to be replaced annually. In addition to the price hike, Mylan has also stopped selling single units, forcing customers to buy two when they lose one and only need to replace one.

Mylan logo

Mylan, a cancer on society.

Naturally the media blames capitalism. Why is Mylan doing this, they ask? “Because they can,” write many journalists. Some go a little further and note that they can because Mylan has an EpiPen monopoly in the USA. No journalists ask the question, “How did they get this monopoly?” This remains unanswered, leaving capitalism to blame.

Reporter Cynthia Koons came the closest to answering this question: “They used the legislative effort to get the Pen into schools and have it be sort of a household name among families. They’re looking at other markets, such as getting it into restaurants and getting it into other common public areas where we would see defibrillators.” Reading between the lines of “restaurants” and “common public areas,” she means government health codes and other legislative mandates.

Yet after giving the reason why Mylan has its monopoly, Koons still can’t grasp why Mylan has its monopoly. She continues: “The gatekeepers are the insurers and the pharmacy benefit managers in terms of holding back what sort of price increases these drugmakers pass on.” Somehow insurers are gate keepers of the price of a product that not only government mandates people buy but also one that government mandates insurance companies cannot deny coverage regardless of the price Mylan charges?!

The story begins in 2013 when Congress pass a law that directs federal taxes into schools that stock auto-injectors and keep staff specially trained in auto-injectors on site during all school hours.

Heather Bresch: CEO, lobbyist, krony scumbag.

Heather Bresch: CEO, krony scumbag.

The fact that Mylan’s CEO just happens to be the daughter of a prominent Democrat senator (you know, those Democrats who allegedly protect the poor from big business) undoubtedly played a role.

This CEO made her entire career at Mylan as a lobbyist crafting legislation to benefit Mylan at the expense of everyone else like the “Generic Drug User Fee Act,” which was designed to make foreign imported medicine more expensive. Think about that for a moment: a lobbyist senator’s daughter made into CEO. It speaks volumes about what Mylan stands for.

And this is how the monopoly was born: not through capitalism but through Congress.

You can read the official state propaganda here. According to the White House, this law 2013 will “provide millions of families with greater peace of mind.” Thank the creator that Congress acted! They continue: “It is a promising day for millions of children and families who live life just one mishap away from catastrophe. As states and schools begin to update and upgrade their response capacity, we will all learn to breathe a little easier.” Rather than breathing easier, thanks to Congress and Obama we can now enjoy price gouging.

It’s telling that this official state propaganda refers to these devices not by their real name “epinephrine auto-injector” but by the name “EpiPen,” which is a trademarked name owned by Mylan. In other words, the White House is giving Mylan free advertising.

Over 20% of the states have passed laws mandating every school buy up gobs of Mylan’s products. The map in that link is provided by FARE, a “charity” that encourages you to pressure your elected officials at all levels of government to make EpiPens “more accessible” and educate consumers on how to buy Mylan’s product. In what is surely no coincidence, FARE is located a mere 10 miles from the White House and gets lots of funding from Mylan. How nice it must be to launder your lobbying and marketing costs through a fully tax-deductible 501(c)(3) charity!

Yet there are other companies that make or are trying to make epinephrine auto-injector. In a free market a competitor would see this price hike as an opportunity to undercut Mylan’s outrageous price. Especially given the fact epinephrine auto-injectors have been around for 50 years! Clearly something is amiss, and it ain’t capitalism.

As should be no surprise to no one, the FDA is doing it’s best to ensure no one can compete with Mylan. (The same organization that is preventing us from Zika vaccines as I recently covered.) They’ve stonewalled Adamis, pulled Sanofi’s products off the market, and rejected Teva’s bid to introduce a new injector.

The Senate has taken notice. Rather than accepting blame and repealing the laws that, the Senators who caused this whole debacle are demanding the CEO explain the debaucle. In the coming days I’m sure we will see her dodge the question and see Congress call for even more legislation. Plus given her very important father, we can expect her to get a light treatment from the Senate. We wouldn’t want to embarrass her father!

So there you have it! The story of Mylan shows that General Surgeon and his kronies are hard at work, and the media dutifully blames capitalism and powerless insurance companies while Congress screws us over.