This is a Japanese translation of the December 6, 2017, version of UVA-M-0915.
This case examines the public controversy that erupted over the increasingly high price of EpiPens. Mylan Inc. (Mylan), a generic drug maker, bought the EpiPen product line from Merck in 2007. Since that time, the company both invested in marketing to raise awareness for the drug and dramatically increased the price, lifting it from $100 to $600 per two pack in the U.S. In 2016, simmering consumer anger about the high prices of pharmaceutical drugs finally reached a boiling point and a media firestorm ensued. The case challenges students to think about the role of fairness in pricing. How can Mylan justify the dramatic price increases? How can it justify the variation in prices across countries, as an EpiPen is priced at an equivalent of $85 in France? The case challenges students to think about how they would handle a public controversy.
The EpiPen case is well suited for students in MBA, MBA for Executives, and executive education programs. For MBA students, it can be placed in first-year marketing, pricing, or marketing communications courses. For executives, it can serve as a vehicle to discuss both ethical issues of pricing and how to handle a public controversy.