Shrekli-style Greed: Who is Heather Bresch, Mylan CEO

Mylan Stock in free fall again.. Fortune Magazine (2015 Article)

Who is Heather Bresch? Did she not learn from the Shrekli affair? Did she not realize that the Pharma Industry is in dire need of an overhaul and governmental oversight?  If she did, she just doesn’t care.  Who is she? Where does such an awful misguided corporate CEO come from?

Heather Bresch grew up in Framington, West Virginia.  She graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations, from West Virginia University.  She is the daughter of a Democratic Senator, Joe Manchin. After her under graduate degree she taught aerobics in San Diego before moving back to her home state as a 22-year-old newlywed in need of a job. Her father met the CEO of Mylan during a baseball game and urged him to hire his daughter in 1992.  She started with the company as a low level quality control clerk, where her job required her to type labels.  Mylan’s executive offices back then were located in a double-wide trailer in Morgantown.

She surely can be admired for having come a long way since then. So how did it happen?  Well, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps she loves making money at any cost? Her father a long time Senator for West Virginia has been accused of using his office to enrich himself.  Perhaps she is just “daddy’s little lady.” She seems to have very similar values as her father and her second husband.

Caught up in needless lies as nobody cares about the MBA

The Post-Gazette reported in 2007 only 8 years after Heather Bresch started her clerical position at Mylan that Ms. Bresch mysteriously ended up with an MBA, which initially was reported by Business Insider Singapore which listed 29 executives who had steep careers despite their “soft” MBAs. The University explained that she had completely only half of her course work. Apparently WVU initially told the Post-Gazette that the 38-year-old Ms. Bresch did not have an MBA, but reversed itself days later after she insisted she earned the degree in December 1998.  The article stated: “An Oct. 22 letter advising the admissions and records office to award Ms. Bresch the degree retroactively was signed by R. Stephen Sears, the Milan Puskar Dean of WVU’s business school.”

Ah, we are getting warmer. Why would the University decide to give our a “Free” MBA from the Milan Puskar Business School to the Senator’s daughter despite the fact she didn’t earn it?  Apparently is must have been a “private” matter.  The University kept insisting that they could not explain anything citing privacy laws.  Well, family matters must not be aired in public.  It kind of makes sense that her boss, Mylan’s Chairman Milan Puskar, who gave Heather the her initial job while he was still CEO upon the Senator’s urging is reportedly, a “longtime friend of the Manchin family”.  Mike Garrison served on the governor Bob Wise’ transition team with other members of WVU’s board of governors, when Heather Bresch’s classmate Mike Garrison was appointed as the University President. As former Gov. Bob Wise’s chief of staff, he was involved in selecting five members of WVU’s Board of Governors, including Chairman Stephen Goodwin, the Charleston attorney who headed the search committee for WVU’s new president.  It was convenient since Heather Bresch, graduated from Fairmont, W.Va., West High School in 1987 in the same class as West Virginia University President Mike Garrison and attended WVU with Mr. Garrison, earning an undergraduate degree in 1991.  She joined Mylan in 1992 as a data entry clerk, and was quickly promoted to served in several posts, including as a lobbyist, but her fortunes at the world’s third-largest generic drug maker rose dramatically after she was Mylan’s spokesperson during the 2004-05 proxy fight waged against the company by hedge fund operator Carl Icahn. At the time of the article she received a $500,000 salary as COO.  So Mike and Heather are pals and each has government connections. Additionally, Mylan donated $20 Million to the University, so the all around friendly attitude toward Heather’s mysterious and hence-forth unexplained matter of the MBA is understandable, right?  Poor Mike Garrison had to resign from his post following this unnecessary scandal. Full Article

Show me who you love and I tell you who you are! Let’s check out Heather Manchin’s second husband Jeff Bresch

Apparently she got married to first Douglas Kirby and soon divorced.  He is the CEO of a tech company that provides facial recognition software that can search videos. Bloomberg reports: “MXSERVER is used by law enforcement to monitor large-scale events, process live surveillance feeds identifying potential threats and conduct investigative analysis following a terrorist attack or criminal act. MXSERVER v2.7 is a significant upgrade to prior versions, improving back-end video/photo processing and face search speed and reliability. Numerous functional enhancements have been made which simplify and expedite video/photo analysis and biometric enrollment.”  Very cool and much needed technology.  That marriage didn’t last very long.

Heather Kirby married her true love with whom she has four children, Jeff Bresch.  Jeff is a litigation lawyer at Jones Day.  This law firm protects their clients against attacks. His corporate resume shows that he represented Education Management Corporation against “false claims.”  The company was sued for defrauding the public.  While Jones Day still claims the allegations were false the negotiated a successful settlement agreement with the Obama Administration and various US states. In an article by TribLive it was reported: “The company’s CEO, Mark McEachen, said prosecutors were flexible in negotiating the settlement and the agreement with attorneys general in 39 states and the District of Columbia. The state prosecutors agreed to end their investigations into EDMC in exchange for the company implementing more transparent recruiting practices and improving staff monitoring. ” They also agreed to a $95.5 Million fine without admitting any wrong doing.  Full Article  Jeff Bresch’s resume also shows that prior to working with Jones Day he gained experience. “As lead trial lawyer, successfully defended several exploration and production companies in connection with OSHA investigations and citations arising out of alleged work safety violations, including a fatality and environmental losses from drilling operations in the Marcellus Shale.”  Heather’s husband is clearly an effective attorney fighting successfully for his clients.  Full resume

Jeff Bresch’s value system is similar to the one Heather’s father Joe Manchin espouses.  Here is a report about Joe Manchin’s first speech in Congress:  “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is making millions from a private coal company even as he fights public health efforts that would raise costs for the coal industry, Senate financial disclosure records reveal. Manchin’s first speech in Congress was an attack on the Environmental Protection Agency for trying to fight the crime of mountaintop removal mining. Manchin opposes EPA regulation of greenhouse pollution, produced disproportionately from burning coal. Last week, Manchin lashed out at Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the billionaire’s contribution to a campaign to shut down toxic coal-fired power plants.”  Full Article

Heather Bresch’s questionable Value System is Nothing New

As early as 2015 Fortune reported:  As CEO, Bresch has been eclipsed by Robert Coury, her predecessor and mentor, now Mylan’s executive chairman—a brash fountain of expletives who many observers believe still pulls Mylan’s strings. Institutional investors have long accused Coury and Bresch of putting their interests ahead of those of shareholders—a suspicion that Mylan’s rebuff of Teva only deepened. “They’re kind of in the penalty box,” says Marty Sass, a money manager of $7.5 billion who sold half his Mylan stake in July. “Everybody hates them.”

Bresch helped write and rally support behind the 2012 Generic Drug User Fee Act, a law that funded more FDA inspections of generic-drug factories overseas.

In 1989 the NYT reported: “When a drug comes off patent, enormous profits can be gained by the company that gets its generic version approved first. When Mylan Laboratories Inc. of Pittsburgh felt its applications were being deliberately held up in the F.D.A. approval process, it hired private detectives who discovered an F.D.A. official had accepted bribes from a competitor. So much money is at stake that falsification and bribery are constant dangers. The generic drug industry needs also to take the lead in policing its own members. The industry has been a potent force in keeping down the high price of drugs, and medical costs will rocket if the industry fails to overcome the doubts that may now be raised about its products.”

The FDA itself: “The generic drug industry has grown from modest beginnings into a major force in health care. According to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, generic drugs now account for 88% of prescriptions dispensed in the United States, and saved the U.S. health system $1.68 trillion from 2005 to 2014.”   Mylan is the world leader in this industry and young Bresch is the CEO of the leading company.  As the Puskar and later on Coury appointed government liaison she assisted in creating this industry.   So why do the changes in law Bresch has pushed through Congress have such a profound impact on the Pharma Industry’s pricing structure? Why instead of saving money are the prices sky-rocketing?

Forbes reported in 2005 that generic drugs are going up by sometimes thousands of percent due to Drug Shortages related to Manufacturing Issues

“But post-industry consolidation, fewer generic manufacturers are applying to the FDA for permission to produce those drugs. With substantially fewer manufacturers producing a particular generic drug (in some cases only 2 or 3 makers), generic prices have crept up with time. However, there are more influential factors than this. When one or more of the manufacturers making a particular drug run short of inventory, demand overtakes supply and results in a price rise. Quality and manufacturing issues are a major reason for drug shortages, according to the FDA. The FDA monitors every facility that is used for production and should any issue arise, the manufacturing company will be issued a notice accordingly.”

Bresch started her carrier in the manufacturing control department. Mylan has an outstanding record.  The law she helped write and get approved, is cutting out manufacturers, creating a free reign in price-gouging for Mylan.  That children and human beings are adversely affected doesn’t seem to bother her one bit.  To her and her husband it is all about money and power.  Only about that.  In her way of looking at the world she is brilliantly successful, while kids die needless from bee stings.

Now would be a good time to genuinely study the proposal of how to get the pricing back down to a reasonable level.  The public and the legislators need to want it and vote for it.  Full Proposal.