Mylan's Measly $100 EpiPen Profit? It's Really $160

Pharma company offers what the WSJ calls 'clarification'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 26, 2016 2:36 PM CDT
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch holds a graphic as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases. Bresch defended...   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – If you thought it seemed just a bit bananas that Mylan makes only $100 profit per EpiPen two-pack, which it sells for $608, you weren't alone. CEO Heather Bresch testified to that fact in front of the House Government Oversight Committee last Wednesday, as one disbelieving congressman flat-out asked, "Is that the truth?" Not precisely, reports the Wall Street Journal. Mylan tells the paper (and told the committee on Monday via more detailed financials) Bresch's figure was a post-tax one, meaning the profit is actually 60% higher at $160. The pharmaceutical company says the statutory US tax rate of 37.5% was slapped on, though neither Bresch nor a poster she had brought with her detailing per-pack revenue mentioned taxes.

A heath-care analyst who spoke to the Journal puts Mylan's 2015 overall tax rate at 7.4%, and its US tax rate at basically zero. How a USC law and business professor reacted to the news in comments to the Los Angeles Times: "It is intellectually dishonest to include tax provisions for US taxes that aren't due, and that the company does not in fact anticipate ever having to pay." Mylan defended its math in a statement, per CNBC, that says "tax is typically included in a standard profitability analysis" and that "just as we did not use a blended global tax rate, we also did not allocate corporate expenses associated with running the business, which would have further reduced its profitability." It called its approach the "most appropriate, and conservative" one. (Read more Mylan stories.)

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