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Who is Heather Bresch? Joe Manchin's CEO daughter at the heart of Mylan’s EpiPen price increase had $19M salary

Sen. Joe Manchin's decision to oppose Neera Tanden's confirmation to lead the Office of Management and Budget has made many to allege that he is taking his daughter Heather Bresch's side
UPDATED FEB 24, 2021
Mylan Inc.'s former CEO Heather Bresch holds up a 2-pack of EpiPen (Getty Images)
Mylan Inc.'s former CEO Heather Bresch holds up a 2-pack of EpiPen (Getty Images)

Sen. Joe Manchin's decision to oppose the confirmation of Neera Tanden to lead the Office of Management and Budget has met with heavy criticism among the media circle. It was alleged that Tanden reportedly deleted more than 1,000 tweets after President Joe Biden nominated her, which has reportedly angered many. However, several media pundits blamed it on her gender or her race. At the same time, several on Twitter have alleged that Manchin’s refusal is not about gender but her previous comments on his daughter’s pharmaceutical company, which heavily profited after increasing the price of EpiPen. Manchin’s daughter, Heather Bresch, served as the CEO of Mylan that produced and distributed EpiPen.

In 2016, Tanden shared a screengrab of an article about Bresch’s salary while at Mylan. The report highlighted that the company’s board said this was justified as she has contributed to Mylan’s growth in recent years. Tanden wrote, “The idea that only CEO contributes to a company’s growth and not all employees is really pernicious.”


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Who is Heather Bresch?

Born Heather Renee Manchin, 51, she is an acclaimed business executive born on June 27, 1969, in Morgantown, West Virginia. She attended Fairmont Senior High School and later graduated from West Virginia University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. Her education remained a controversial topic as it was alleged in 2007 that she received an MBA degree from West Virginia University. However, the university disputed the claims but later awarded her the degree after she completed only 26 of the required 48 credits. At the time of the controversy, her father was the governor of the state of West Virginia.

In 1992, Bresch started working as a clerk in a company owned by Mylan and became its CEO in 2012. From 2002 to 2005, she also served as Mylan’s director of government relations, where she contributed to the development of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003. As the CEO of Mylan, Bresch advocated for more regulations of the pharmaceutical industry by the Food and Drug Administration.

Mylan Inc.'s former CEO Heather Bresch (Getty Images)

However, it was Mylan’s pricing of the EpiPen that caused controversy and brought Bresch negative publicity. In 2007, Mylan had secured the rights to the EpiPen, used to treat anaphylaxis, as part of the Merck KGaA deal. During that time, the annual sales of EpiPen were around $200 million. Bresch tried to capitalize on the opportunity and increased the sales volume and the profit margin, creating an uproar among the patients.

From 2007 to 2016, Mylan had increased the price of EpiPen by 461 percent. In 2015, the company’s sales reached around $1.5 billion. The increase in the price met with heavy criticism of both Bresch and Mylan. Following the controversy, Mylan introduced a generic version of the device that sells for half the cost of the brand-name product.

Heather Bresch net worth

Bresch announced in 2019 that she would retire from Mylan in 2020. In 2020, Bresch owned over 143,709 units of Mylan NV stock that were worth $4.8 million. By that time, she had also sold MYL stock worth over $8.3 million. As the company’s CEO, she made over $18.9 million annually. As per a report, her net worth in 2020 was more than $31.7 million.

Photo illustration of EpiPen (Getty Images)

"EpiPen Greed"

Several on social media claimed Sen. Manchin is taking his daughter's side. One wrote: "Sen Manchin's refusal to vote to confirm Neera Tandem isn't about gender or race. It's about Tandem's past comments on the CEO of Mylar raising the price of Epipen to an unaffordable price The CEO back then was Heather Bresch, aka Heather MANCHIN Bresch, Joe Manchin's daughter". Another user tweeted, "Joe Manchin is responding to Neera Tanden calling out his daughter for price gouging epipen prices --- she is a CEO of a big pharma company. !!! His 'no vote' is for his daughter." Another user alleged, "Neera Tanden criticized Joe Manchin’s daughter publicly for her statements as a price gouging CEO of an Epipen maker. Manchin’s opposition to her nomination seems personal, and he should recuse to avoid the appearance of bias." While another tweeted, "Joe Manchin's daughter is behind the EpiPen greed. Neera Tanden rightly criticized her for stealing Americans' life savings to stay alive."





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