The Most Hated Man and Woman in America

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No, I’m not talking about the Kardashians – this time, the most hated man and woman in America have definitely earned their titles. These two disgusting human’s make huge profits by raising the prices on medication necessary for people.

Most Hated Man in America – Martin Shkreli

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Martin Shkreli (born in 1983) is an American entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive. He is co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of the biotechnology firm Retrophin, and founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. In September 2015, Shkreli received widespread criticism when Turing obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by 5,556 percent (from US$13.5 to US$750 per tablet), leading him to be referred to by media as the “most hated man in America”.

Daraprim is a medication used for protozoal infections. It is commonly used as an antimalarial drug (for both treatment and prevention of malaria), and to treat Toxoplasma gondii infections, particularly when combined with the sulfonamide antibiotic sulfadiazine when treating HIV-positive individuals. It works by inhibiting folic acid metabolism via dihydrofolate reductase. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

In accordance with Shkreli’s business plan, Turing acquired Daraprim (pyrimethamine), a medication approved by the FDA in 1953, for US$55 million. on August 10, 2015, from Impax Laboratories. The drug’s most prominent use as of late 2015 was as an anti-malarial and an antiparasitic, in conjunction with leucovorin and a sulfonamide, to treat patients with toxoplasmosis, including in AIDS populations. The patent for Daraprim had expired and no generic version was available. The Turing–Impax deal included the condition that Impax remove the drug from regular wholesalers and pharmacies, and so in June 2015, two months before the sale to Turing was announced, Impax switched to tightly controlled distribution. In keeping with its strategy for pricing in the face of limited competition, Turing maintained the closed distribution. The New York Times noted that the deal “made sense only if Turing planned to raise the price of the drug substantially.”

On September 17, 2015, Dave Muoio of Healio, an in-depth clinical information website for health care specialists, reported on a letter from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association to executives at Turing, questioning a new pricing for Daraprim. The price of a dose of the drug in the U.S. market increased from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill, overnight, a 5,456-percent increase.

The price increase was initially criticized, jointly, by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and soon thereafter by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump. A subsequent organized effort called on Turing to return pricing to pre-September levels and to address several matters relating to the needs of patients, an effort that garnered endorsements from more than 160 medical‑specialty and patient‑related organizations (as of December 2015, 164 organizations from thirty-one states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico).

In response to the controversy, the record label Collect Records publicly ended its business relationship with Shkreli, who had invested in the company.

In December 2015, Shkreli was arrested by the FBI after being indicted on federal charges of securities fraud. He is free on bail pending trial. He resigned as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and was replaced by the company’s board chairman, Ron Tilles.

Most Hated Woman in America – Heather Bresch

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Heather Bresch is an American business executive. In 1992 she started working as a clerk in a factory owned by Mylan, a generic drug company, and rose through the company to become the Chief Executive Officer in 2012. She was named one of Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women In Business” in 2014. In 2007 there was a controversy over an unearned MBA degree that Bresch had been claiming on her resume at that time. In 2016 Mylan became embroiled in controversy after having raised the price of its product the EpiPen by nearly 500 percent since 2009.

Heather Bresch served in several executive roles at Mylan, such as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Development, Head of North American Operations, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Integration Officer.

Bresch led the integration of Matrix Laboratories Limited and Merck KGaA’s generics and specialty pharmaceutical businesses with Mylan’s operations. She was chair of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) for two terms. Bresch was appointed President of Mylan in 2009 and joined Mylan’s Board of Directors in March 2011.

Bresch’s appointment as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was announced in 2011 and she officially took the position in January 2012. Bresch was the first female CEO of a large pharmaceutical business. At the time, she was one of 18 female CEOs of a Fortune 500 company. Bresch was ranked 31 in Fortune magazine’s 2014 “50 Most Powerful Women” list After seeing how few female candidates were available for positions that require a background in science and math, she became more interested in promoting math and science education among young girls.

As CEO of Mylan, Bresch continued advocating for more regulation of the pharmaceutical industry by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). She was recognized in Esquire’s 2011 “Patriots of the Year” list for her work pushing for the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA).

In 2013, Mylan acquired an Indian generic injectable drugs company, Agila Specialties Private, for $1.6 billion in cash.

The following year, in 2014, a $5.3 billion acquisition of Abbott Laboratories was announced as part of a corporate tax inversion plan to re-organize the company in the Netherlands and move its domicile to a country with lower taxes. The company completed the complex tax inversion in February 2015. The inversion—which formally resulted in the creation of a new company, Mylan N.V., with 78% of its shares held by former Myland Inc. shareholders and 22% of its shared held by Abbott Labs shareholders—was expected to immediately drop Mylan’s U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% (from 24%) in the first year “and into the high teens over the next three to five years.” The New York Times said there was something “disconcerting” about a company that benefits from large government contracts renouncing their citizenship for tax benefits. Bresch said it was a difficult choice to make, but it had to be done to maintain competitiveness against pharmaceutical manufacturers that had already executed similar inversion strategies.

In 2016 Mylan’s pricing of the EpiPen, used to treat anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions), became a focus of public anger. Mylan had secured rights to the nearly 50-year old EpiPen as part of the Merck KGaA deal in 2007. At that time annual sales were around $200M. Bresch saw an opportunity to increase sales and the company launched a marketing campaign to increase awareness of the dangers of anaphylaxis for people with severe allergies that made the brand “EpiPen” as identified with its product as “Kleenex” is with facial tissue; the company also successfully lobbied the FDA to broaden the label to include risk of anaphylaxis and in parallel, successfully lobbied Congress to generate legislation making EpiPens available in schools and in public places like defibrillators are, and hired the same people that Medtronic had worked with on defibrillator legislation to do so. From 2007 to 2016, Mylan also increased the price of EpiPens by 461 percent, from around $100 for a package of two pens to around $600. By the first half of 2015, Mylan had an 85% market share of such devices in the U.S., and in that year sales reached around $1.5B and accounted for 40% of Mylan’s profit. The price increase in 2016 was met with widespread, sometimes vitriolic, criticism of Bresch and Mylan.

Proxy filings show that from 2007 to 2015, Bresch’s compensation rose from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068, a 671 percent increase.

 

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