When we first read this incredibly powerful open letter from an emergency room physician to the CEO of Mylan, we knew we had to share it. When we reached out to him, he shared additional information, offering to testify before Congress on any investigation. Please read and share this doctor’s powerful letter.
An open letter to Mylan CEO, Heather Bresch as posted on Facebook with over 24,000 shares to date.
In light of recent news regarding EpiPens, I would like to give you an opportunity to justify your pay increase from $2,453,456 in 2007, to $18,931,068 in 2015. In that time, the wholesale cost of an epipen has gone from $56.64 to $317.82. By the way, the cost of a 1 ml amp of epinephrine is $4.49. So, I give you the opportunity to justify the increase in the cost of an epipen, as well as the increase in your salary.
I know you must have an explanation.
As a practicing Emergency Medicine physician, I have cared for nearly 50,000 patients in my career. As a team, my nursing staff, techs, medical assistants, Physician Assistants, are all trained to save lives. We frequently care for acute anaphylactic and allergic reactions. So, while I know you must have an explanation to my question, here are some things I know you do not know.
You do not know the look on a patient’s face when they are struggling to breath after a bee sting.
You do not know the fear a patient has when their lips and tongue are so swollen, there is barely an airway to care for.
You have never heard the sound of stridor [a harsh vibrating noise when breathing, caused by obstruction of the windpipe or larynx] when air can barely make its way to the lungs.
You have never seen the look of a parent when their child is unresponsive.
You have never had to debate whether you need to give IV epinephrine for a patient in anaphylactic shock who is hypotensive but has underlying cardiac disease with the knowledge that the drug may save their life, but may cause a heart attack.
You have never attempted to intubate a patient in respiratory failure after a bee sting.
You have never watched your own child, while on vacation, eat a peanut butter sandwich, which they have done so many times before, but breakout in a severe rash and receive a prescription for an epipen, only to be told that the pharmacy doesn’t take your insurance and you need to pay $500 out of pocket for a potential life saving medicine.
You have never performed CPR on a child.
You have never told a parent that their child died.
These are things that you do not know. However, I DO. I HAVE DONE THEM!!! WE DO. MY TEAM HAS DONE THEM!!!
So, please Ms. Bresch, justify your increase of 461% for a medication that costs $4.49, to the point that patients and families who may not have insurance have to make a decision that could lead to death. Justify your pay increase by 671%.
Justify your greed.
Mark A. Kenton D.O.