| NRSC Digital

you can’t make this up

Remember that lawsuit from last week where Joe Manchin and his business partners were being sued for defaulting on a $15 million loan and failing to pay nearly $600,000 in taxes? Well this being Joe Manchin, there’s also a Mylan connection!

Joe Manchin lists himself as a member of AA Properties, LLC, one of the entities identified in the lawsuit, and holds a $50,001-$100,000 stake in the company. According to his latest financial disclosure, Manchin earned $11,200.18 from AA Properties in 2016. And the co-owner of AA Properties is none other than Larry Puccio, a lobbyist for Mylan. So to recap, a company Joe Manchin co-owns with the lobbyist for the embattled Big Pharma firm that is his second biggest campaign donor is being sued for defaulting on an eight figure loan, and has failed to pay nearly $600,000 in state and county taxes.

“While his colleagues in Congress were investigating Mylan for price-gouging and ripping off taxpayers, Joe Manchin was busy running a very profitable business and dodging taxes with the company’s lobbyist,” said NRSC Spokesman Bob Salera. “Joe Manchin owes West Virginians an explanation for his shockingly unethical behavior.”

Background:

Mylan’s CEO, Heather Bresch, is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin. “The growing congressional scrutiny of pharmaceutical giant Mylan over the high cost of EpiPens could prove awkward for Sen. Joe Manchin. The West Virginia Democrat’s daughter, Heather Bresch, is chief executive of the company, which appears to have hiked the price of the epinephrine auto-injector by 400 percent since 2007. The device, which is used to treat severe allergic reactions, now costs more than $600 per dose.” (Catherine Ho, “CEO at center of EpiPen price hike controversy is Sen. Joe Manchin’s daughter,” Washington Post, 8/24/16)

A report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that Mylan received overpayments from the federal government of $1.27 billion from 2006-2016. “Drug maker Mylan (MYL), which manufactures the allergy treatment EpiPen, found itself at the center of yet another controversy Wednesday, after the Department of Health and Human Services said the government may have overpaid the company by $1.27 billion from 2006-2016.) (Brittany De Lea, “Did EpiPen maker Mylan cheat taxpayers out of $1.27B?” Fox Business, 5/31/17)

As Mylan hiked the price of EpiPens from $100 to $600, Manchin’s daughter’s salary rose from $2.4 million to nearly $19 million. “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.” (Beth Mole, “Amid outrage and tumbling stocks, Mylan’s chairman pocketed $97M,” Ars Technica, 5/2/17)

As Mylan was investigated by Congress, Manchin encouraged his colleagues to be “open-minded and fair.” “Heather Bresch, Manchin’s daughter and Mylan’s chief executive officer, has come under fire from lawmakers, including many of his fellow Democrats, for her pricing decisions on the life-saving anti-allergy drug…‘The only thing you can ask is that people be open-minded and fair,’ Manchin said.” (Steven T. Dennis, “Mylan CEO Behind EpiPen Price Furor Praised by Senator Father,” Bloomberg Politics, 9/7/16)

As Mylan raised its prices, Manchin’s wife, Gayle Manchin, spearheaded an effort to require schools to buy the product. “After Gayle Manchin took over the National Association of State Boards of Education in 2012, she spearheaded an unprecedented effort that encouraged states to require schools to purchase medical devices that fight life-threatening allergic reactions…The CEO of Mylan then, and now, was Heather Bresch. Gayle Manchin is Heather Bresch’s mother…Mylan is the subject of congressional investigations related to huge price hikes the company announced last month. It also faces an antitrust probe by the New York attorney general stemming from its EpiPen sales contracts with schools.” (Jayne O’Donnell, “Family matters: EpiPens had high-level help getting into schools,” USA Today, 9/20/16)