Mom of EpiPen CEO Helped Get Them in Schools

While head of the National Association of State Boards of Education
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2016 5:55 PM CDT
Mother of Mylan CEO Pushed for EpiPens in Schools
Gayle Manchin walks with her husband, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, in 2010. Manchin was the head of the National Association of State BOards of Education when it pushed for EpiPens in schools. Her daughter happens to own the company that makes EpiPens.   (AP Photo/Randy Snyder)

By 2013, 11 states legally required schools to stock auto-injectors for epinephrine and pretty much all the rest recommended it, while the federal government passed the "EpiPen Law" giving funding preference to schools that did so. The push for auto-injectors, of which EpiPen was pretty much the only option, was Gayle Manchin, head of the National Association of State Boards of Education, and—according to a report from USA Today—mother of embattled Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. Mylan is the maker of EpiPen and is currently under a federal investigation for price hikes and an antitrust investigation in New York. That second investigation is related to Mylan's contracts with schools.

"It just looked so bad to me," Brenda Welburn tells USA Today. "[Manchin] becomes president and all of a sudden NASBE is saying EpiPens are a good thing for schools." Welburn, the former executive director of NASBE, says the association had always tried to stay way from "corporate influence" prior to Manchin's tenure. While Manchin was head of NASBE, her daughter's company funded panels on allergies in schools, gave money to NASBE, and launched the "EpiPen4Schools" program. Read the full piece here. (Read more EpiPen stories.)

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