The Weekly Fix: Cronyism Is a Family Business

The fix is in. Mylan Pharmaceuticals can’t afford to keep 400 employees on its payroll in Morgantown, West Virginia, but it can afford to donate tens of thousands of dollars to Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) re-election campaign.

Mylan executives donated $51,250 to the Manchin campaign in the first quarter of 2018, which brings the total of Mylan-related donations to $132,450 since 2010. It is the Manchin campaign’s second largest source of federal campaign funds, closely following FirstEnergy Corp.

As coincidence would have it, the CEO of Mylan also happens to be Sen. Manchin’s daughter.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the pharmaceutical company’s spending habits are under constant criticism for unethical business practices. From 2007 to 2016, Heather Bresch (Sen. Manchin’s daughter) gave herself a $16.6 million pay raise. At one point, Mylan fraudulently classified the EpiPen as a generic brand to avoid paying Medicaid rebates, which required the company to pay the federal government $465 million.

To increase revenue, the company spiked the price of a two-pack of EpiPen injectors to more than $600 in 2016. Since Mylan controlled 85 percent of the EpiPen market share, customers had no choice but to pay the extra $500. Their lives depended on it.

All this, and the CEO managed to avoid major legal consequences. There are other benefits to being the Senator’s daughter: In the years since Bresch took over, Mylan received millions of dollars in federal contracts. Before her tenure at the company, Mylan received federal contracts in the low thousands, or sometimes none at all.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals is a case study in what happens when big business colludes with big government. Heather Bresch continues to reap the benefits of being wealthy and well-connected, at the expense of the 400-plus West Virginians she just sent to the unemployment line.

It’s time to take a stand. The American people aren’t being heard by their representatives because the game is rigged. Government isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”