Information revealed this week on how Mylan overcharged for its EpiPen opened the door for new attacks from a primary opponent of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D.), whose daughter is CEO of the pharmaceutical company.
A report released on Wednesday showed Mylan overcharged the government $1.27 billion after the company settled with the Department of Justice for just $465 million last year. Things worsened for Mylan when it was reported that a top executive was paid $98 million that same year.
Manchin's Democratic primary opponent, Paula Jean, turned the latter report into a political attack against the West Virginia senator, who has taken $127,000 in campaign contributions from Mylan and urged his colleagues to be "open-minded and fair" when investigating the scandal.
"I will just leave this here," Jean wrote linking to the CNN report. "You can ask my opponent about it."
— Paula Swearengin (@paulajean2018) June 1, 2017
Manchin's daughter Heather Bresch came into the spotlight in 2016 when she was called to testify in front of Congress regarding the price increase on EpiPens, which came as her own compensation was boosted as well.
A two-pack EpiPen injector rose from $100 in 2007 to more than $600 by 2016. At the same time, Bresch's salary rose from $2.4 million in 2007 to nearly $19 million in 2015.
Jean told the Washington Free Beacon that, unlike Manchin, she would not be beholden to big corporations.
"We won't be beholden to any special interests because our campaigns are funded by small donations from supporters, not big corporations," Jean said in an email.
Jean has put the blame for a failed healthcare system on the backs of "corrupt politicians."
"Private insurance companies have been allowed by generations of corrupt politicians to become monopolies with the power to extort many hundreds of billions of dollars from the American people each year," she says on her website.
The Inspector General report released by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R.) on Wednesday revealed that Mylan overcharged the government by $1.27 billion for failing to correctly classify its EpiPen.
The drug company classified EpiPen as a generic drug instead of a brand-name drug under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program. As a result, Mylan was granted over $1 billion in excess payments from the rebate program.
The Department of Justice settled with Mylan in October of 2016, agreeing to pay $465 million back to the government, significantly less than the amount the company overcharged.
In the same year, former Mylan CEO and chairman Robert Coury earned $98 million. Coury’s salary was technically only $1.6 million but he received a $20 million bonus, $50.8 million in stock awards and $22.7 million listed as "other compensation."
A group of pension funds working to oust top Mylan directors called the pay package "extraordinary and egregious."
Manchin did not respond to requests for comment.