Mylan's (MYL) dubious relationship with both the West Virginia state government and the federal government has long been under the microscope.
But it appears that CEO Heather Bresch's father, Sen. Joe Manchin's, D-W.V., connections to the generic drug industry go further back than initially reported.
Manchin, who began his career in the West Virginia state senate in 1986, sponsored a bill in 1989, SB-137, which made it easier to substitute generic drugs for brand name drugs. Manchin's role in sponsoring the legislation has not been widely reported until now. Just two years later, Mylan hired his daughter, Heather Bresch, for a low-level position from which she eventually skyrocketed to become chief executive of the company.
Bresh's hiring came after former Mylan CEO, Milan Puskar, ran into Manchin at a basketball game. Bresch herself has admitted that it was this meeting that got her an interview at Mylan.
This in and of itself is unsurprising. Manchin—called in some circles "quid pro quo Joe"—is known for his focus on deals that benefit his family and himself as well as his home state and district.
But Manchin's dealings involving Mylan are perhaps unsettling, given that Manchin, now a U.S. senator, defended his daughter's company after it came under fire last summer for its high drug prices—especially for the EpiPen, an epinephrine autoinjector used to treat severe allergic reactions, or anaphylaxis—rather than steer clear of playing any role in the debate. In fact, Manchin has acted as an ardent supporter of Bresch, even when Mylan's policies oppose his political views.