Back in August of 2016, the pharmaceutical company Mylan came under fire for jacking up prices of the EpiPen from $57 in 2007 to roughly $600 in 2016. The public backlash has been significant. But the chairman of Mylan has a message for any critics: Go fuck yourself.
Well, at least that’s what we think he said. The New York Times has a new article about the fact that prices for the live-saving allergy medication haven’t actually come down since last year. And the article has a rather strange way of describing the attitude of Mylan chairman Robert Coury.
This is how the New York Times describes Coury’s reaction to critics of Mylan’s price gouging:
Mr. Coury replied that he was untroubled. He raised both his middle fingers and explained, using colorful language, that anyone criticizing Mylan, including its employees, ought to go copulate with themselves. Critics in Congress and on Wall Street, he said, should do the same. And regulators at the Food and Drug Administration? They, too, deserved a round of anatomically challenging self-fulfillment.
“Colorful language”? Critics ought to “go copulate with themselves”? I think adults can safely interpret that to mean that he waved both hands in the air, flipped everyone off, and said that Wall Street, Congress, the FDA, and the general public can all go fuck themselves.
I know there are enormous swaths of the country that consider rough language to be exactly what’s wrong with the world today. But it’s about time we stop pussyfooting around when we talk about the ways in which Americans are continually being fucked by pharmaceutical and health insurance companies.
It’s clear that the leaders of these companies don’t give a fuck about us. They say as much. So paint their words—their real words—in big, bold letters on every decaying billboard and boarded up shop in America.
The chairman of Mylan, a company that made $480 million in pure profit last year, has told us to go fuck ourselves. The least we can do is quote him accurately. And as a consumer of the EpiPen I have a message for Mr. Coury too: Go fuck yourself.