NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Mylan (MYL) - Get Report CEO Heather Bresch appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday morning, after the company announced this morning that it would increase access to its EpiPens by providing a savings card that covers up to $300 for a 2-pak.
The pharmaceutical company's CEO has been the center of a "national firestorm" this week after hiking its EpiPen prices to $608.61 from $93.88 in 2007, when they took over the product, CNBC's Brian Sullivan said. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the price hike "outrageous," Senator Bernie Sanders called it "egregious" and the White House called the company "greedy."
The company's first priority is to ensure that everyone who needs an EpiPen has access to it, Bresch told Sullivan.
"As a mother, I can assure you the last thing that we would ever want is no one to have their EpiPen due to price. So our response has been to take that immediate action of making sure that everyone has an EpiPen," she said.
The American Medical Association (AMA) said that the product is basically the same as it was in 2009, yet the price has increased by 200 or 300 fold, Sullivan commented.
"No one is more frustrated than me," Bresch said.
"But you're the one raising the price. How can you be frustrated?" Sullivan asked.
"My frustration is there's a list price of $608. There is a system. I laid out there there are four or five hands that the product touches and companies that it goes through before it ever gets to that patient at the counter. Everybody should be frustrated" Bresch responded.
Because all the hands that the drug passes through before ending up in a patient's hands are taking bigger cuts, Bresch said the company had to offer savings cards, rather than simply reducing the price of the drug. "Had we reduced the list price, I couldn't ensure that everyone who needs a pen gets one. We went around the system," she explained.
The savings card is building on already existing programs that people didn't know about because coverage is too complicated these days, Bresch said, arguing that the firestorm this week points to a larger issue in the healthcare sector as a whole.
The system is "outdated and inefficient" because the patient is paying the full retail price at the counter, while also paying higher premiums on their insurance, Bresch explained.
"That's why Congress and the leaders of this country need to quit putting their toe in this topic and really fix the system," she said.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Mylan as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the company covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: MYL