Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Medicine Businesses The Almighty Buck United States

Price-gouging Maker of EpiPen Literally Said That Critics Can Go Fuck Themselves ( 459

Back in August of 2016, the pharmaceutical company Mylan came under fire for jacking up prices of the EpiPen from $57 in 2007 to roughly $600 in 2016. The public backlash has been significant. Gizmodo adds: But the chairman of Mylan has a message for any critics: Go fuck yourself. Well, at least that's what we think he said. The New York Times has a new article about the fact that prices for the live-saving allergy medication haven't actually come down since last year. And the article has a rather strange way of describing the attitude of Mylan chairman Robert Coury. This is how the New York Times describes Coury's reaction to critics of Mylan's price gouging: "Mr. Coury replied that he was untroubled. He raised both his middle fingers and explained, using colorful language, that anyone criticizing Mylan, including its employees, ought to go copulate with themselves. Critics in Congress and on Wall Street, he said, should do the same. And regulators at the Food and Drug Administration? They, too, deserved a round of anatomically challenging self-fulfillment."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Price-gouging Maker of EpiPen Literally Said That Critics Can Go Fuck Themselves

Comments Filter:
  • by andyring ( 100627 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:09AM (#54559353) Homepage

    I've never been in anaphylactic shock, but I would imagine it would be particularly difficult to engage in the suggested activity while suffering from an allergic reaction.

    Perhaps someone could correct me though if I'm wrong.

    • You have misspelled anaphallic shock.
    • by KGIII ( 973947 ) <> on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:09AM (#54560047) Journal

      There are varied degrees. I am allergic to bees. With most, I'll swell up and have some throat constriction. With a few, I'll have a reasonable amount of time to seek treatment. With a very small number, a single sting is enough to mean I need immediate treatment, or I will die. Most of the time, I won't need any treatment at all. I'll just have to calm down and ensure I keep breathing well enough.

      If you're curious, I don't even bother carrying my shot kit. It is fairly unlikely that I will need it and there's usually one that I can access, if I have enough time.

    • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:46AM (#54560401) Journal

      Perhaps we should stick Mr. Coury's head in a beehive for a few minutes and then see if he can masturbate. Totally for science, of course!

    • by tchdab1 ( 164848 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @12:14PM (#54560637) Homepage

      The readily available components for this - a one-dose vial of epinephrine and an appropriate syringe - costs less than $10, less than $5 if you shop around. People are reluctant to use those because it's more complex and cumbersome than an epipen, but they should. Especially backup doses.
      And items like this the USA should just declare eminent domain and manufacture/distribute them at cost. This goes for any patented medicine not made available in sufficient quantity and at cost with not more than reasonable profit.

      • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:13PM (#54561211) Journal

        There are generic auto-injectors available at a reasonable price. There's just no reason to buy EpiPen, unless the kid's school is in on the scam.

      • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @02:56PM (#54562015)
        Epipen has a patent on their injector but its not the only injector design, many of which are out of patent.

        Unfortunately it is our FDA that is perpetuating this problem because they increased the certification standards on injectors which, unless someone coughs up and throws away millions of dollars for new testing, rules out using many older out-of-patent designs that are all-the-rage in other parts of the world (like western europe.)

        Sure, this is price gouging. Plain and simple. But its the FDA's fault that a bunch of competing injector-based products disappeared from the market overnight.
      • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

        "And items like this the USA should just declare eminent domain and manufacture/distribute them at cost. This goes for any patented medicine not made available in sufficient quantity and at cost with not more than reasonable profit."

        Disclaimer: I think what Mylan is doing is outrageous.

        That said, I don't see how you're going to get pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs if you're going to take away the profit incentive. They spend a shit ton of money in development, and it takes years to get it all

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:10AM (#54559365)

    The epipen isn't the only player in the market, its popularity is due to schools support for it, as an easy way to administer the drug. If it is too expensive the schools should consider a replacement. And have this guy just blame critics in the poor house with a stack of epipens that he will sell at a loss.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:17AM (#54559441)
      There are alternative auto-injectors - []
    • by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:21AM (#54559473)
      That'd be all good and well, if there weren't patents preventing other players from entering the market.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:30AM (#54559581)

        That'd be all good and well, if there weren't patents preventing other players from entering the market.

        Perhaps patents shouldn't last as ridiculously long for devices that save lives... ... just a thought.

        I'm all for companies being paid to make up for R&D costs, but sometimes common sense should be observed.

        • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:09AM (#54560055)

          Or just impose mandatory licensing on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms for medical patents, in a similar way to various standards bodies expecting this of contributors influencing the standards. You still get your commercial incentive to invest in research and development, you still get to make reasonable profits, but you don't get to literally hold people's lives hostage just because of a legal monopoly.

      • by Pascoea ( 968200 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:33AM (#54559615)

        That'd be all good and well, if there weren't patents preventing other players from entering the market.

        If only there were already competing devices out there, for 1/6th of the price, that would solve this entire problem. []

      • It needs to be a substitution of the product. Not a copy. Lets say that autoinjector is the best on the market. However an other one can be made, that may not be as good, but good enough. And if by that it costs 5 times less then it is more valuable, then its more expensive counterpart.

        The top selling cars are the Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai, Ford and Chevy not because they are the best cars on the market. But good cars for the money that pay for them. I could give up a home mortgage to get myself a

      • Government should revoke the patent when it is being abused.

        • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:04PM (#54561109)

          Government should revoke the patent when it is being abused.

          Except that patents were designed with abuse as their very purpose since the very start. Check out for example the backlash against them in 1624 [].

          The reason patents are advertised for did not pass the laugh test in any period of history. Try for example Edison and light bulbs: all he did was a minor improvement over what a long list of other researchers did, yet by abusing patents he stopped innovation for about 50 years.

      • There are alternatives. Mylan has a patent on that particular design of auto-injector. There are other auto-injectors and the active ingredient (epinephrine) has been off patent for years.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:29AM (#54559573)

      The epipen isn't the only player in the market, its popularity is due to schools support for it, as an easy way to administer the drug. .

      The schools have support for it because they are legally required to do so. Schools are legally required to carry epinephrone pens, and Mylan took steps to become the dominant player in the epinephrine autoinjector market; so much so that "epipen" is now on the same level as kleenex, bandaid, or xerox in that it is now essentially a generic term for any epinephrine injector pen. Oh, yeah, and one of their top executives also happens to be the daughter of a senator. I'm sure that didn't have any bearing when it came to lobbying efforts.

      • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:57AM (#54559909) Journal

        Yeah, the whole epi-pen thing is blatant rent-seeking []. Get your product legally required, get alternatives stuck in regulatory and patent limbo, jack up the price and rake in the bucks.

    • Or the government should just invalidate their patent and open the ball-game. Basically tell Mylan they can go fuck themselves, and they will soon have plenty of time to do so. Patents aren't natural rights of man, they're arbitrarily granted government monopolies created to encourage R&D, not to be abused in the name of greed.

    • It's popular do to Mylan giving them to schools for free. You're talking about state-run organizations facing a severe budget crunch and wondering why they aren't choosing to pay for the cheaper alternatives when the more expensive version is free to them?
  • that his attitude comes back to bite him. I can just imagine the fun that social media could have with that kind of arrogance.
  • Literally.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aicrules ( 819392 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:14AM (#54559417)
    And then "well at least that's what we think he said." Oops. Your bombastic use of a word immediately discredits you. However, since it does appear that the article is saying that he actually said that, perhaps the term "reportedly" could have been used instead of literally.
    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      It's a bit more than "reportedly"... more like "practically". The exact terminology he apparently used was "copulate with themselves". So while technically yeah, he didn't *literally* say that the critics could go fuck themselves, it still strongly suggests that is precisely what he was meaning to say and simply decided to word it slightly differently... I would speculate to make himself appear as though he was above using the more expletive term.
      • NY Times reported that was what happened at a board meeting. Doesn't make it true. Reportedly is far more accurate. Or according to a source. In fact, he could have actually said "can go fuck themselves" and the source providing the quote chose to sanitize it. Regardless, journalistic integrity nor capability isn't what I expect from Gizmodo or Slashdot, I just hate how abused the word "literally" has been for literally most of my adult life.
        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          I don't care for the abuse on the word "literally" either, and I would have said something about its use myself if you had not. Assuming the report is accurate, he still didn't *literally* say it, but I expect that more applicable term, "practically", would probably not have read as well in a headline. (not that I think that justifies using the word inappropriately, but I think I understand why they used the word that they did).
  • Time to talk to Canada for prices.
  • I'll just wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:19AM (#54559465)

    At some point, this orifice at the negative end of the esophagus will be responsible for the untimely demise of a person who is mourned by someone with a rather low tolerance for bullshit of this kind, and this person of limited longanimity will rip said orifice a suitable replacement for the aforementioned orifice.

    Preferably slowly, painfully and streamed via a service that many people can enjoy.

    And nothing of value will be lost. Except maybe the YouTube video of it.

  • Do they have Dick Cheney on the board of directors?
  • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:24AM (#54559507)
    At least one chairman who has balls to say what he actually thinks instead of hiding behind insincere excuses. On the other hand I hope he won't cry when his critics start using stronger language as well.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekmux ( 1040042 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:46PM (#54561447)

      At least one chairman who has balls to say what he actually thinks instead of hiding behind insincere excuses. On the other hand I hope he won't cry when his critics start using stronger language as well.

      What you call "balls" I define as Corporate Arrogance, and quite frankly, I'm sick and fucking tired of it.

      It's amazing how we have anti-monopoly laws on the books, and yet we don't really do a damn thing from stopping mega-corps from buying 90% of the market, and colluding with the remaining 10% that comprise the remaining mega-corps. True competition is dead or dying, and the arrogant attitudes demonstrated by the worlds largest corporations prove it.

      I can only hope that 10 companies worth of real competition are birthed from this cocksuckers arrogance to compete directly against the EpiPen, and he's forced to eat his words standing in front of the shareholders explaining why revenue has tanked.

      Capitalism and Greed does not justify this kind of shit attitude that has created Corporate Arrogance. And it's high time consumers stop bending over and simply taking it when it happens.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @10:26AM (#54559533) Homepage Journal

    Now that patent rights are terminated with any domestic or foreign sale, per the SCOTUS Lexmark decision, pretty soon the market is going to be able to tell Coury to go fuck himself.

    • Re:Lexmark (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @12:54PM (#54560997)

      Congress has forced the FDA to block the sale of imported drugs, the same congress has also blocked the government from negotiating prices even though Medicare and Medicaid combined constitute 80% of all drug and device sales.

      Allowing the reimport and negotiation of drug prices would bring US prices into line with the rest of the world.

  • I'll be in the minority here, but that's bad ass. A company leader that doesn't do PR is a breath of fresh air, even if he is a raging asshole.

    • Except the job of CEO is to be a focal point and linkage between PR (the outside perceptions of the company) and the internal company culture.

      • The job of CEO is to maximize shareholder profit. Everything else is in service to this goal.

        It can certainly be argued that this douche nozzle is going to end up costing the board dearly, and you'd probably be right. That, however, is not my point. My point is it's nice to see someone in authority act like he has a set of balls and own their actions. Too many company leaders, when caught with their hands in the cookie jar, act like it's a mystery. They don't know how they got both hands and foot in th

  • Based on patents, they have the right to charge whatever they want. In fact, that is what the drug companies do as well. Which is why we need to re-do patents WRT medical items. In particular, we should lower the timeframe from 20 down to 10 for items such as general medicine, epi-pen, equipment, etc. At the very least, move it to the first 10 years from anybody, and then the second 10 years only from imports. The 2 exceptions need to be vaccines and most of all, antibiotics. We need to give real reason fo
  • The Epipen disaster is squarely due to FDA's hubris, maintaining that every other drug regulator in the world is incompetent. If the FDA would accept generic-drug approvals from other first-world agencies, like those in Canada and Europe, we wouldn't have this problem. Understand that they are not approving the drug, which is already approved, but just approving the manufacturing process. The FDA insists on an expensive, redundant approval process that results in a non-competitive market that leads to go
  • It's nice when corporations (or rather, those who work for them) are kind and good to humanity.

    Having said that, that's not what business is for. Business is for making money.

    Like processes on a protected-mode OS, business must be regulated to the satisfaction of the citizenry. If we deem it important that corporations do not dump millions of gallons of toxic waste into the river, we should not rely solely on good will and bad press to deter them. We use the law, just as we do memory protection, to curta

  • This guy gets points for honesty, boldness, and openly admitting that he's in the top 1% of the world's amoral socio/psychopathic douche-bags. It's nowhere near enough to make up for what happened, but most people in his situation would lie through their teeth to try to paint a better picture for themselves and their company.

  • .... when their patent expires.

    I can't imagine that the chairman did the company any favors in the here and now by openly suggesting that people who criticize the company's price gouging can go "copulate with themselves", however.

  • If the government is so concerned, they could invalidate the patent(s) involved, and let the generics makers get involved in the auto-injectors. The drug itself is already a generic medicine. Let the 'free market' decide which product is better. The gov't, and patients, would be returning the fingers.
  • I am being very sarcastic. When reading this article I wanted to see what this pr*ck looked like. Much to my surprise I was not disappointed. He looks like a 40 year old version of Martin Shkreli. Sometimes I don't know how people can live with themselves let alone manage anatomically challenging self-fulfillment. Really sad side of reality and it only gets worse. Sorry, folks this makes me sick for those who have to have this life saving "device" as it is put. Out...
  • At least he was honest. Can't say he lied. What he does is legal (although not ethical) and if people do not like it, they indeed should go either fuck themselves or change it that it isn't legal anymore.

    If I drive 50KMH in a 50KMH zone and you think it is too fast, you can also go fuck yourself or change it that the limits are lower.

    The legal part should be closer to the ethical part and that should be our way to say to him that he can fuck himself. Unfortunately we do not have a real say in laws. Fuck me,

  • by millert ( 10803 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @11:04AM (#54559999) Homepage

    We just picked up the generic Adrenaclick from CVS for $12 after they automatically applied a $100 off coupon (even without insurance). The major difference between Adrenaclick and EpiPen is that Adrenaclick doesn't retract the needle after injection. If Mylan's pricing nonsense continues I think we'll see more people being trained on Adrenaclick than EpiPen just due to the cost.

  • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <whitroth&5-cent,us> on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @12:24PM (#54560735) Homepage

    Nationalize the pharmaceutical industry.

    And go back to 1997, and BAN ALL C(ONSUMER_TARGETED ADVERTISING OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. They spend *billions* on that, and what, you're supposed to tell your doctor what to prescribe?

    With all the mergers, they're spending a lot less on actual research. And the research they are doing - a year or two ago, India refused to grant a patent to a major drug, because it was no advance at all on the existing drug... that was about to go out of patent.

    Hell, go look at the wikipedia entry on quinene, for malaria - how much it costs to make, and the price in the US.

    That's their big research. Basic research? Try universities, a lot of whom get funding for that... from the biggest and best (IMO) medical and bioscientific research organization in the world: the US NIH.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:59PM (#54561551)

    Bust his useless patent and let the generic manufacturers flood the market. The patent on such an obvious copy of the US Army nerve gas antidote injector was wrongly issued anyway.

"I think trash is the most important manifestation of culture we have in my lifetime." - Johnny Legend