Mylan CEO to Shift Blame on EpiPen Pricing at Hearing

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Mylan NV CEO Heather Bresch plans to defend the rising price of EpiPens when testifying before Congress Wednesday, sticking to the company's effort to shift blame to health insurers and drug-benefit managers.

Since scrutiny of EpiPen's price intensified, the company has sought to point fingers at the other health-system actors that profit from rebates Mylan gives off the list price and that require some patients to pay high deductibles before reimbursing drug costs.

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"With the current focus on pricing, I'm very concerned that the access part of the equation is being minimized," Ms. Bresch says in prepared remarks reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

EpiPens are devices for injecting epinephrine during emergencies when a patient is experiencing a serious allergic reaction. Since acquiring the product in late 2007, Mylan has raised the list price 548% to nearly $609.

Ms. Bresch is scheduled to testify Wednesday afternoon before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about the price increases.

In the prepared remarks, Ms. Bresch says Mylan has made more than $1 billion investments over the years to raise awareness of anaphylaxis, improve EpiPens and extend their shelf life.

She notes Mylan plans to sell a generic version for half the cost of the brand-name product.

She also argues that Mylan doesn't profit as much as might be expected given the list price. "I think many people incorrectly assume we make $600 off each EpiPen. This is simply not true," Ms. Bresch says.

Mylan pays back much of the list price, $274, in the form of rebates and fees, the CEO says. Drug companies give these discounts to secure reimbursement by health plans and drug-benefit managers.

About $105 pays for sales, manufacturing, marketing and related costs, while another $69 covers the cost of making the two-packs, Ms. Bresch says.

Write to Jonathan D. Rockoff at Jonathan.Rockoff@wsj.com