Mylan to Pink Slip Less Than 10% of Its Global Workforce, Actual Number Unknown

Mylan to Pink Slip Less Than 10% of Its Global Workforce, Actual Number Unknown December 6, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

PITTSBURGH – Mylan Pharmaceuticals , of EpiPen fame, will lay off less than 10 percent of its employees, including non-union workers, West Virginia Metro News reported this morning.

The cuts will impact Mylan sites in Morganton, W.V., Washington, D.C., St. Albans City, Vt. and Greensboro, N.C. According to the Metro News report, which cites unnamed sources, non-union employees who will be terminated were given a Dec. 13 date for termination to either accept their severance pay or re-apply for their jobs. Those employees who were accepting voluntary buyouts, will be allowed to work through Jan. 11. It’s unknown how many employees will actually be impacted by the layoffs.

Mylan told Metro News that the cutbacks are part of an efficiency strategy.

“Since 2015, Mylan has made a number of significant acquisitions, and as part of the holistic, global integration of Mylan we are focusing on how to best optimize and maximize all of our assets, including reducing redundancy across our organization across all geographies. As part of this process, we will be taking actions that will impact less than 10 percent of our global workforce,” the company said in its statement to Metro News.

The layoffs follow Heather Bresch, Mylan’s chief executive officer, taking responsibility for the pricing controversy surrounding the EpiPen Auto Injector. Bresch made the statement at a Forbes Healthcare Summit, one day after refusing to testify before a Congressional panel. The panel wanted to review the $465 million settlement Mylan agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice over allegations it overcharged Medicaid for the EpiPen. Bresch told the panel that the price hikes were justified due to the improvements the company made to the auto injector following its acquisition. She told the audience that the original design led to patients accidentally sticking themselves with the needle. The new design is more ergonomic and less likely to slip, she said.

Bresch said she hopes the concerns raised by the EpiPen pricing controversy will lead to changes in how prescription medications are priced in the United States. She told the panel that the “veil” of pricing needs to be lifted by lawmakers to show consumers how much prescription drugs really cost. Her comments echo those she made earlier this year when she said part of the blame for the cost is the healthcare system itself. In an interview with CNBC, Bresch laid blame on the healthcare system for the high cost of the EpiPen. She said the product must pass through “four or five hands” and companies before it reaches patients–with each company taking a bit of the money, causing the product to increase in price.

There was public outcry earlier this year over the $600 price tag of the EpiPen Auto Injector. Since company acquisition of the EpiPen in 2007, the price has dramatically increased from $57 to nearly $500, a 400 percent increase. The EpiPen generated more than $1.2 billion in revenue for 2015, accounting for about 40 percent of Mylan’s overall earnings.

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