Mylan and the EpiPen: Increased Access or Price Gouging?

Cara Peters, Winthrop University, Leigh W. Cellucci, East Carolina University, O. Elijah Asagbra, East Carolina University
February 13, 2023
North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Marketing & Sales
11 pages
Healthcare ethics, price gouging, healthcare marketing
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.68)
Average rating: 

In September of 2016, Heather Bresch, the Chief Executive Officer of Mylan, was called to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, part of the U. S. Congress. The committee planned to ask Bresch questions about the $608 price tag that was attached to the two-pack of EpiPens sold by her company. Through successful marketing efforts, EpiPen was now easily accessible in schools as well as theme parks such as Disney, Inc. The marketing campaign that had targeted parents of children with allergies and intense lobbying of congress resulted in the requirement that public schools stock EpiPens. The outcome was that that the product that had generated $200 million in 2007 generated $1 billion in sales by 2015 (Johnson and Ho, 2016). Bresch planned to defend the EpiPen price increases, but would the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee find Mylan’s actions as ethical?

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Discuss cost, quality, and access--the three cornerstones of health care delivery—

    focusing on prescription drugs to exemplify the interactive relationship

  2. Explain how high deductible health insurance plans and higher deductibles for workers

    result in the consumer paying more out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions

  3. Explain the significance of a company’s mission statement to strategic healthcare

    marketing planning

  4. Explain the relationship between corporate social responsibility and the pricing of life-

    saving prescription drugs

  5. Identify steps to evaluate whether a specific company is acting ethically or not regarding

    its price increases of life-saving drugs

  6. Evaluate if a specific company is acting ethically