Report: EpiPen Execs Are Second-Best Paid in the Industry

Incentive plan may have led to price hikes

Mylan Pharmaceuticals––currently the target of public and congressional ire over its hefty price increases for the EpiPen––had the second-highest executive compensation among all U.S. drug and biotech firms during the past five years, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. The big paydays are unusual in view of the company’s small size in the U.S. drug industry, where it is No. 11 by revenue, the article notes.

Mylan’s combined total of $292.1 million in pay for its top five executives over the five years ended last December outpaced that of industry rivals several times its size, including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Eli Lilly, according to the analysis.

Mylan defended its pay practices, saying in a statement that its business is complex and highly competitive, and that “our effective management across our regions and portfolio has allowed us to consistently deliver strong performance for shareholders, year after year.”

The EpiPen––an epinephrine autoinjector––has a list price of $608 for a two-pen pack, double its price in early 2014 and up nearly 550% since 2007.

Some analysts have suggested that Mylan raised prices on the product partly because of incentives approved by the company’s board, including a 2014 long-term incentive plan that rewards executives if they meet ambitious growth targets averaging 16% annually, according to the Journal.

Heather Bresch, Mylan’s CEO, has defended the price increases, saying the company is a for-profit enterprise, and blaming high patient costs in part on insurers and drug-benefit managers.

Mylan has tried to defuse the controversy by increasing copay assistance for some consumers and by introducing an identical generic form of the EpiPen priced at approximately $300 for a two-pen pack, the Journal notes.

Source: Wall Street Journal; September 13, 2016.