Beyond Mylan, two other troubling drug pricing realities

Mylan Pharmaceuticals and its chief executive officer, Heather Bresch, have been easy targets for politicians seeking to gain headlines as defenders of financially hard-pressed American families.

Of course, the company’s officials might just as well have taped “Kick me” signs to their backs. Mylan’s pricing of its EpiPen devices, going from about $100 for a two-pack in 2007 to $608 now, is well-deserving of criticism. Bresch and others responsible deserve to be in the hot seat.

But frying them there has an unpleasant side-effect. It distracts attention from two other aspects of drug pricing:

First, members of Congress should be upset, too, with the Food and Drug Administration for dragging its feet on approval of other companies’ alternatives to the EpiPen. Mylan would not be reaping unconscionable profits if there was more competition.

Second, it is difficult to believe Mylan and the EpiPen are the only examples of rip-off pricing in pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Rest assured, executives at some other drug companies breathe sighs of relief every time a member of Congress issues an angry statement about Mylan.

It is one more day in which other firms are not in the crosshairs.

They should be, as should the FDA.