Business Lessons from the EpiPen Price Hike...
I'm a business man. I'm always on the lookout for good business ideas. So when I read that Mylan Pharmaceutical's popular EpiPen was now $600 -- up from $95 in 2007 -- I yelled out, "Eureka! We just need to sell our shirts for $114!"
The staff was a little suspicious at first: "Sell our shirts for over $100?"
Me: "Listen guys, trust me here, I'm a job creator. Back in 2007, our shirts were $19, and now they're $21. We've only been increasing them as the price of goods and production has slowly risen, mainly tied to inflation and materials. But, if we'd followed EpiPen pricing, our $19 shirts would now be $114. We'd make so much more money! Also, I need to make $17 million per year."
Staff: "But Mike--"
Me: "Hold on, I'm ordering a custom Tesla online."
Staff: "Don't people with severe allergic reactions die without the drug inside an EpiPen?"
Me: "Yeah ... so?"
Staff: "Well, isn't it possible that the only way they can increase the price by 6 times in 9 years is that they have a monopoly on that life-saving product? And then the customer's cost for the drug varies by what kind of insurance they have -- group, individual, or government. So costs are buried, obfuscated, and competition stymied through various means."
Me: "But Mylan is a business, just like RAYGUN. And isn't health care part of the free market?"
Staff: "Maybe it's impossible to have a completely free market when you're dealing with life saving drugs and procedures? Perhaps the free market only exists when a customer can choose to not buy a product, and will not die because of that choice."
Me: "Well, that sucks. Is there a way we can make people need our shirts to live?"
Staff: "We'll work on it!"
Me: "Great! 'Cause that Tesla's not gonna pay for itself guys!"
Staff: "Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Good one."
Me: "Ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, hey, my individual health care premiums are going up by 43% this year."
Staff: "Ha ha ha ha ha."