Mylan: Balancing Profitability and Public Approval in the Digital Age
In August of 2016, Mylan Pharmaceutical came under public scrutiny for its highly priced EpiPen, a drug used to treat life threatening allergic reactions. “EpiGate” erupted almost overnight, as EpiPen customers took to social media to voice their frustrations. Mylan was accused of using “greedy robber baron” tactics against a helpless customer base. Mylan issued several price related reparations to its customers (increased rebates, generic product offering, etc.) A month later, Mylan was still struggling to silence its critics. Why did Mylan’s responses fail to silence the critics? What was missing in Mylan’s strategy? This case illustrates (a) the influence of social media on corporate reputation (b) the difficulties of balancing business strategy and public approval and (c) the principles of successfully responding to negative news media. 5 pp. Case # 17-04.
- To consider the issues that arise when a company’s business strategy clashes with public expectations.
- To show the power social media has given consumers to respond to company action.
- To investigate business response to public criticism and discuss the effectiveness of these responses.
- To encourage discussion about the moral and social responsibility in pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.