Last year, furor over the skyrocketing price of Mylan’s life-saving EpiPens hit a fever pitch. Lawmakers seethed, parents broke into tears at pharmacy counters, regulators opened investigations, competitors raced to come up with cheaper alternatives, and Mylan’s stock tumbled 29 percent.
Nevertheless, Mylan chairman, Robert Coury received compensation of $97.6 million in 2016. And that doesn’t include an additional $66.3 million in other retirement benefits and payments that Coury received last year as part of a transition from executive chairman to a “non-employee chairman role.” Coury will continue to receive a $1.8 million per year “cash retainer” as part of a deal made with Mylan last year.
The payments were disclosed Monday in a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
In a statement, the company justified the payments, saying:
During Mr. Coury’s long tenure, Mylan has delivered strong financial performance and shareholder growth, and his new compensation structure continues to be aligned with the company’s stock performance while providing shareholders with the benefit of his continued leadership and guidance in setting Mylan’s strategic direction.
Mylan has raised eyebrows before with its payments to executives. Last year, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch was chided by lawmakers for her compensation, which rose sharply in recent years, largely in step with the price of EpiPens. In 2015, her compensation reached nearly $19 million, up from $2.4 million in 2007, which was when Mylan purchased the rights to EpiPen and began raising prices. The devices went from nearly $100 for a two-pack to a little over $600. The company earned $1.1 billion in revenue from the devices in 2015.
In a September 2016 hearing, Bresch told lawmakers that her salary was around $18 million—a point lawmakers were happy to clarify.
“Ms. Bresch made $18,931,068 in 2015,” Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) pointed out in the hearing. “I suppose when you get to salaries of that level, over time it’s easy to forget an extra $931,068.”
In the new financial filings, Bresch appears to have taken a pay cut, only earning a measly $13.8 million in 2016.
Nevertheless, the new eye-popping figures are unlikely to sit well with customers who rely on the epinephrine auto-injectors to quell deadly allergic reactions.
In light of Coury’s payment, “any parent who has had to shell out money for an Epipen, this would be shocking to them, I think,” Michelle Leder, founder of securities-filings research firm footnoted.com, told the Wall Street Journal.