Mylan CEO Heather Bresch shares her thoughts on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, Mylan’s unique corporate culture and more. Find out more about Heather and her career at Mylan here.
April 4, 2019
What Does The Phrase Access to Medicine Mean to You?
What does the phrase “access to medicine” mean to you? Depending on where you live, what you do for a living, your ethnicity, age and even your gender, your answers to that question are likely quite different. For us, here at Mylan, our definition of access is making sure the medicine we make is actually getting into the hands of patients in the more than 165 countries and territories we serve.
That may sound like a simple concept, but serious barriers to access such as availability of supply, difficult logistics, policies that aren’t focused on helping patients and more problems still plague many areas of the world. This disparity can negatively affect not only individual health outcomes, but also the well-being of families, communities and nations.
That’s why we are more committed than ever to our goal of creating better health for a better world and doing so in a way that’s sustainable for all concerned. Today, I’m pleased to share our Global Social Responsibility 2018 Progress Report, which highlights some of the ways we are doing just that and helping to shape positive outcomes.
Whether we’re providing free hepatitis and HIV screenings in some of the world’s hardest hit regions, offering more affordable medicines to treat devastating diseases or working for policies that put the needs of patients first, we will continue to fight for sustainable solutions that improve global health for the long-term.
Given that circumstances and needs very broadly around the world, we know the complexity of the challenge. But as I’ve said before, we embrace this challenge, and we won’t stop innovating, collaborating, and relentlessly advocating for change until patients everywhere have access to the medicines they need.
March 8, 2019
No Excuses: Let’s Figure it Out
One of my Mylan team members recently shared a thought-provoking story with colleagues here. She was working with a group of sixth grade girls on a community project about gender equality. The girls were shocked to learn that in many countries, girls and women are discouraged from attending school, can’t make major decisions without a man’s permission and don’t have equal access to healthcare. The girls then compiled lists of the genders of their teachers, coaches, elected officials and others who held positions of influence. The results were shocking to them: Each of their lists, except for one, had more male names than female names. The girls said the imbalance made them wonder about their own futures.
That story is especially relevant today, on International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter. I’ve often spoken about the importance of ensuring women’s voices are heard and my firm belief that changing the gender balance will require more than women pushing for a seat at the table. It requires the support and dedicated action of men, too. As I said last year and will continue to repeat until the need is no longer there, we need our fathers, brothers and sons to respect and empower women as equals if the world is to make any meaningful progress. Read more.
March 7, 2019
Doing Good in Puerto Rico
Welcome home. Imagine finally hearing those words after being forced out of your home for more than a year due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria. When Hurricane Maria first struck Puerto Rico, where Mylan has had a presence for more than 30 years, we opened our Caguas facility to provide food, water and other assistance. And we vowed then to continue helping residents for as long as it took to recover. Today, I’m proud to share that through a $1 million commitment and partnership with SBP, we’re helping to rebuild and repair homes across the island, bringing families not just the keys to a home, but also hope and healing. Read our press release about the announcement here.
February 15, 2019
Putting Patients First
At Mylan, fighting for patient access to high quality medicines is in our DNA. Over the last few months, we’ve been working harder than ever to ensure that cost savings – made possible by the availability of generic medications – reach patients at the pharmacy counter.
That’s why this week, I’m excited to share another one of Mylan’s success stories that brings more affordability and access to patients. After more than a decade of hard work and more than $700 million in investment, we launched our Wixela™ Inhub™, the first-ever generic to ADVAIR DISKUS® for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in the U.S. This is an important milestone because until now, the brand drug had no generic competition for years, leaving patients – often seniors on fixed incomes – with only one costly option. And we are offering it for a list price 70% less than the brand. This is just one example of what Mylan means by increasing access and putting patients first. Read more.
December 3, 2018
Africa or the U.S.: Who’s doing a better job of suppressing HIV/AIDS?
In today’s polarized political climate, the term “bipartisan collaboration” may seem like an unachievable goal. But one global health program proves it can be done — and done well. Founded by the Bush administration in 2003, continued by President Obama, and supported by President Trump, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a bipartisan success story that’s saving lives in the global fight against AIDS.
In the wake of World AIDS Day and the U.S. administration’s timely commitment on Thursday to reauthorize funding for PEPFAR, I am struck by the remarkable strides in preventing, diagnosing, treating and suppressing HIV/AIDS that this initiative has made in the world’s hardest hit regions. When PEPFAR began its work in 2003, just 50,000 people were on treatment in sub-Saharan Africa, and little data existed on the number of patients who were successfully suppressing the virus. Today, PEPFAR supports over 14.6 million people on treatment, both directly and through partnerships such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and almost half of those living with HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa are virally suppressed.
Given the success of this U.S.-led initiative abroad, it may be surprising to learn that the American domestic response lags far behind its peers. Overall, just 51 percent of Americans with HIV are suppressing the virus — the worst results in the G-7. In fact, if you have HIV you are more likely to be suppressing the virus if you live in Malawi (62 percent), Kenya (63 percent) or Botswana (81 percent) than in any state in the U.S.
What has the international AIDS effort gotten right that we can learn from? Read more.
October 11, 2018
Ensuring Young Girls Develop Into Women Who Change the World
As the mother of three daughters and a woman workingin an industry that is dominated by men in the C-Suite, this year’s theme for International Day of the Girl hits home for me. “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce,” calls on the global community to rethink how to prepare young women to successfully join the world of work.
In today’s economy, technology continues to break down barriers in business, borders and industries. However, we have yet to break the gender and geography lottery which continues to determine a child's outcome.
When you consider the serious issues facing many girls around the world, the challenge is daunting. Extreme poverty, inconsistent access to healthcare, limited or no education, violence, stereotypes and cultural norms prohibiting women from being full participants in society alter the paths of many girls—often with dire economic consequences.
But just because it’s not easy to address these complex issues doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do what’s right and tackle them head-on. In order to do this we need the whole population to think differently. We must ensure that girls have equal access to healthcare, education and opportunity. I am certainly committed to do my part and help young girls figure out how to disrupt their status quo and challenge social norms.
If given the right opportunities and support, more young girls will develop into women who lead families, companies and countries. They will develop into women who can—and will—change the world.
October 11, 2018
What do Water, Medicine and Equal Opportunity Have in Common?
What’s the link between water bottles on a tarmac, medicine and equality in the workplace? Access.
With the pace of natural disasters increasing at an alarming rate, I’ve been thinking a lot about the image of thousands of pallets of water bottles currently left on an airfield in Puerto Rico a year after Hurricane Maria. Everyone had the best of intentions to deliver access– from manufacturing the water bottles to getting them to the island.
I’m sure there is much to learn about what occurred, but the fact remains that those water bottles did not get into the hands of the people who needed them most. And if they aren’t in people’s hands, they aren’t doing any good. The same can be said for medicine. In speaking at The Atlantic Festival last week in Washington, D.C., I compared the water bottle scenario to the access challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces today. Read more.
September 12, 2018
Remembering a Great American Entrepreneur
I am fortunate and humbled to have spent my career working at a company that I believe epitomizes a true American success story. Mylan was founded in 1961 as Milan by Don Panoz and Milan "Mike" Puskar in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The two Army buddies shared a love of business and an entrepreneurial spirit, and together they created from scratch a distribution network to ensure access to affordable medicine in difficult-to-reach communities. That commitment to providing access to medicine and setting new standards in healthcare remains a pillar of Mylan today.
I was deeply saddened to learn of Don’s passing early Tuesday. An innovator to his core, Don was a tireless worker, strong leader and generous benefactor.
After co-founding Mylan with Mike Puskar, Don would help the company to grow and expand our mission until 1969, when he moved his family to Ireland, where he founded Élan Corporation. He quickly created innovation at Elan, including advancements in transdermal drug delivery.
Following his success in the pharmaceutical industry, Don turned his attention and talents to major entrepreneurial endeavors in fields as far ranging as resorts, motorsports, wine and philanthropy.
Less than two years ago, I hosted a very special one-on-one session with Don at our birthplace in White Sulphur Springs at a global leadership meeting. Don joined us for about an hour and told the story about how he and Mike set up shop in that abandoned roller skating rink whose site was a short distance from the very stage we sat on. Hearing him articulate the Mylan mission from the start was an inspiring reminder that providing access to patients is fundamental to who we are.
In honor of Don’s life and achievements, and together with our 35,000-strong family around the world, we recommit ourselves to Mylan’s mission to provide the world’s 7 billion people access to medicine. Thanks to his vision, Don’s legacy will endure for lifetimes to come.
August 4, 2018
A Big Week for Biosimilars
There’s a lot going on this week in support of increased access to biosimilars and generics! I am really proud of all of my colleagues who are representing Mylan at two major events – FDA’s public hearing on their Biosimilars Action Plan and the Association for Accessible Medicines’ GRx+Biosimilars conference. Having a leading voice in advancing policies and regulations that support access to biosimilars and complex generics is critically important to Mylan and the patients we serve. These meetings are an opportunity to have productive discussions and share best practices around how collectively we can foster competition without compromising innovation and enable patient access to these life-changing medicines.
June 25, 2018
One Thing You Own But Can't Rent
One thing you own but can’t rent is your health. During a recent trip to the Netherlands, I enjoyed the opportunity to engage in some very thought-provoking dialogue at the AESGP pan-European self-care medicines conference about ways that patients can be better owners of their health in Europe and around the world.
An idea that stood out involves the role of diagnostic testing in self-care, known as over-the-counter medicine in some parts of the world. It’s an area of growing interest for me because patients can become more aware of their conditions and react accordingly. Common over-the-counter diagnostics include glucose monitors or pregnancy tests – both help patients to determine whether additional medical care is required or if the issue can be treated at home. Read more.
June 4, 2018
A Milestone for Cancer Patients and Access to Medicine
Helping patients is at the heart of everything we do at Mylan. That’s why I’m thrilled about today’s FDA approval of Mylan’s Fulphila™, the first FDA approved biosimilar to the biologic Neulasta® (pegfilgrastim). The news represents a big win in Mylan’s efforts to expand treatment options for cancer patients.
Biologic medicines have become the standard of care for cancer and other diseases, but they are costly and complex to make. Mylan’s strong scientific expertise and ability to innovate positions us to bring versions of these medicines, called biosimilars, to patients. By doing so, we hope to create competition, increase affordability and get patients the medicines they need.
Mylan is already one of the largest suppliers of cancer medicines in the U.S., and both biosimilars we’ve had approved here are oncology medicines. But we’re not stopping there. We have more than 400 oncology products in our pipeline and look forward to continuing to meet the needs of cancer patients at every stage of their journey.
Thanks to our partner, Biocon, and the countless Mylan employees who worked hard to make today’s important milestone a reality. Together, we are truly making a difference for patients.
May 18, 2018
CEOs of Households
Last evening I had the opportunity to join many health policy women leaders in celebration of National Women's Health Week. We discussed our shared challenge of improving women's health as well as the need to simplify the delivery of healthcare.
Based on a recent Morning Consult survey of 1,000 women across the U.S., almost 60% of respondents identify themselves as the healthcare CEO of their household. And as the household’s CEO, these women take care of all of their family's healthcare decisions and activities — from scheduling doctor's visits to picking up prescriptions and everything in between. Another 27% of women take care of some of the healthcare decisions for their families. And almost 70% of women admit to worrying more about the health of others over their own health at least some or most of the time. Read more.
May 14, 2018
Beyond Astronauts and Engineers: Inspiring West Virginia’s Youth to Embrace STEM Regardless of Career Path
I was thrilled to be at West Virginia University this morning to announce an exciting collaboration between Mylan and the university. Not only is West Virginia my home state, but it’s where Mylan was founded nearly 60 years ago. The city of Morgantown also is home to more Mylan employees than any other city in the world where we are located. The Mountain State is definitely a place about which all of us at Mylan care deeply.
There’s no question, the state has its share of challenges. One in four West Virginia children live in poverty. Thirteen of every 1,000 West Virginia kids are in foster care, and the state ranks dead last when it comes to children’s health outcomes. Despite the state’s true natural beauty (see Almost Heaven), these facts don’t paint a pretty picture. Read more.
May 7, 2018
Capturing the Essence of Our Mission
Every day, I consider myself extremely fortunate to wake up knowing that, regardless of what challenges the day may hold, I work for a company that, at its core, is committed to delivering better health for a better world.
I also consider daily the various interests of our company’s many stakeholders and the responsibility we have to serve them, while also upholding our fundamental mission. For nearly 60 years, we’ve fought to expand access to high quality medicine for patients around the world. We continue to do so, thanks to our workforce of approximately 35,000 people who consistently and passionately drive our progress. We also appreciate and value the opportunity to collaborate with customers and partners to meet our goals. At the same time, we’re focused on delivering consistent and reliable results for shareholders. It’s a balance we call “doing good” and “doing well,” meaning that our mission drives our long-term business model and sustainability and vice versa.
Mylan’s recently released 2017 Better Health for a Better World Progress Report on Global Social Responsibility is one way we continue to tell our story of impact – and I couldn’t be prouder to share it with you. View the report here.
April 12, 2018
Doing Good and Doing Well
Yesterday Mylan hosted an Investor Day in New York. I was energized to share our story with analysts and shareholders, including a view of our differentiated business model in which doing good drives a continued ability to do well. For nearly 60 years, Mylan’s core purpose has been to provide access to high quality medicine. Over the decades, as we’ve expanded these efforts, the company has had to achieve tremendous diversification across its commercial, operational and scientific platforms. With this expanded access and greater diversification, the durability and resilience of our business has grown, which in turn allows us to reinvest in our core purpose. It’s an engine that signifies Mylan is #BuiltToLast and that the best is yet to come! Please check out my interview with Andy Serwer at YahooFinance!
April 7, 2018
Health for All: The Time for Action is Now
Today is World Health Day, a day to remind ourselves that while we have overcome many global health challenges, at least half of the world’s population is unable to obtain essential health services. According to the World Health Organization, more than 800 million people spend at least 10 percent of their household budget on healthcare today. Even more alarming is the fact that each year close to 100 million people are being pushed into “extreme poverty” due to healthcare expenses.
As the bar rises, we must continue to strive to provide access to healthcare for our 7 billion neighbors around the world. Healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege. How can we solve this problem? Read more.
March 29, 2018
An HIV Success Story
Mylan continues to fight for access to high-quality medicine and one of our best success stories is for people living with HIV. While I continue to be an advocate to fix our broken healthcare system and work to find solutions for the patient at the pharmacy counter, I equally want to call attention to what is working. Read more.
March 8, 2018
From the Family Room to the Board Room
I can't help but wonder what the world might look like today if all – not just half – of the world’s great minds over the centuries had been recognized and their full potential tapped. I think about illnesses that might now be distant memories, injustices that could have been avoided and great works of art that may have changed the world for the better. For all these reasons and more, I regard this year’s International Women’s Day’s theme, #PressforProgress, as a poignant reminder of the work still ahead of us to achieve gender equality. Read more.
March 2, 2018
Mylan Is That Company!
I recognize that a recurring theme across the U.S. healthcare sector right now is the ongoing challenges that many companies are facing.
Those challenges are causing many to wonder what the future holds for our industry. Read more.
February 21, 2018
I’m passionate about Mylan’s work to fight HIV/AIDS. More than 40% of people being treated around the world depend on a Mylan product.
This week, our work to continue to set new standards for affordable access for patients in countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS took another step forward. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the tentative approval under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief of our Dolutegravir, Emtricitabine and Tenofovir Alafenamide Tablets.
The product will be immediately available in developing countries as a first-line regimen for people being treated for the disease. The tablet will be the smallest sized single-tablet regimen available for patients in the developing world. And by offering 90-day and 30-day packages, we hope patients can make fewer trips to clinics to get refills.
Our commitment to continue to innovate and expand access has never been stronger. The world needs more cost competitive and clinically effective products like this one, which is why Mylan is proud to work with partners to make it available and help reach the more than 15 million people living with HIV worldwide who still need access to treatment. You can read our press release here.
January 31, 2018
Disrupting the U.S. Healthcare System
I continue to be a strong proponent for disrupting and reimagining the U.S. healthcare system, and I believe employers will play a crucial role. In this recent media interview, I share some of my ideas.
January 23, 2018
Experiencing Davos for the First Time
Anticipation, expectation and excitement all ran high as I began my journey through Davos today to participate in the World Economic Forum. I am humbled by my surroundings – both the snow-capped mountains as well as the thousands of people participating in the forum. Read more
January 9, 2018
Great Day at a Great Conference
Excited to be here at J.P. Morgan’s Healthcare Conference. Mylan is off to a great start to 2018, and I look forward to continuing the important discussion about healthcare and challenging the status quo. I started early this morning with a media interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo. Read more
December 18, 2017
Almost Heaven. West Virginia.
The world is a very big place, but no matter how far away I travel, West Virginia holds a special place in my heart. It’s where I was born and raised, it’s where Mylan was founded nearly 57 years ago and it’s where I began my career with the company. Read more
December 17, 2017
Our Hearts Are Still and Always With Those in Puerto Rico
Happy 30th anniversary, Mylan Puerto Rico!
You are part of Puerto Rico’s proud tradition of pharmaceutical manufacturing, and your quality products help deliver better health in the U.S. and Canada – and as far away as Japan. The extra care and attention required to make the important products you do – for conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disorders and diabetes – calls for an exceptional team. I have no doubt that the many patients who use your products deeply appreciate your commitment to excellence. Read more
December 5, 2017
States Can and Should Disrupt Healthcare
Democratic governors gathered this week in New Orleans, where I was invited to participate in a panel discussion regarding the U.S. healthcare system and its future.
I took the opportunity to share some remarkable statistics about the generic pharmaceuticals industry and Mylan’s role within it. For example, did you know that generics now fill 90% of all prescriptions dispensed in the nation but account for only 27% of drug-spending costs? That means brands fill the remaining 10% of all prescriptions yet make up 73% of drug spending. Read more
December 1, 2017
Mylan’s Commitment to Expand Access to Cancer Treatments Reaches New Milestone
Mylan is celebrating an important victory today on behalf of patients in the U.S. who have HER2-positive breast cancer or metastatic stomach cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration just approved Ogivri™, the first biosimilar in the U.S. to Herceptin® (trastuzumab), a biologic drug that’s part of a new generation of targeted therapies which have radically changed the way cancer is treated. Mylan co-developed Ogivri with Biocon. The approval is significant because of the tremendous value biosimilars offer. Read More
December 1, 2017
World AIDS Day
Today is World AIDS Day, and on this occasion, we mourn the millions of lives lost to the disease already, support and encourage those living with it, and renew our commitment to defeating the virus once and for all. Read More
October 24, 2017
What a Difference a Decade Makes
Ten years ago this month, Mylan completed its acquisition of Merck KGaA’s generics business. Through this watershed event we essentially transformed ourselves overnight into one of the world’s leading specialty and generic pharmaceuticals companies.
Mylan already was an American success story, having helped establish generic drugs by the end of the 20th century as the backbone of the U.S. healthcare system. But the industry was changing. Our customers were consolidating, lower-cost imported drugs were flooding into the country and brand pharma companies had become far more aggressive in their attempts to impede competition. Read More
September 25, 2017
Equality for all
Over the weekend, the film “Battle of the Sexes” premiered – it chronicles the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which remains the most watched televised sports event of all time. I was fortunate to get a sneak peek of the movie, thanks to an invitation from my friend Billie Jean King, at its Los Angeles premier. The film reminded me of how far we’ve come as a society in terms of how we value the contributions and capabilities of both men and women. It also reminded me of how far we’ve yet to go and that men and women are still fighting globally for equal access to opportunity. Read More
September 5, 2017
Better Health for a Better West Virginia
Last week, I was honored to speak at the West Virginia Chamber’s annual business summit in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. It’s always great to come home, and I am proud to call West Virginia my home as well as Mylan’s birthplace. As you know, White Sulphur Springs is where Mylan was founded more than 55 years ago by two army buddies who had a vision to provide access to medicine to the good people of rural West Virginia. Today, Mylan is still doing the same thing -- just now on a global scale. Read More
August 25, 2017
Parking lot picnics: a great way to bring people together
Sometimes the simplest ways to build friendships and celebrate community are the best ones. This week, I was honored to join Mylan employees in Pittsburgh for a picnic in our office parking lot. We recognized colleagues who achieved milestone anniversaries in 2017, including our President Rajiv Malik who has played an invaluable leadership role with Mylan for 10 years. Read More
August 7, 2017
Sharing Mylan’s Impact on U.S. Healthcare at the 2017 DGA Policy Conference
I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Democratic Governors Association 2017 Summer Policy Conference in Aspen over the weekend, where I shared Mylan’s great story with governors, their staff and fellow attendees. I emphasized the scale of our impact on U.S. healthcare – over the past decade Mylan has contributed to more than $180 billion in healthcare savings as a leading manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals. Read More
June 12, 2017
Generics and Biosimilars Drive Access and Savings for the U.S. Healthcare System
The Association for Accessible Medicines today released their 2017 Generic Drug Access & Savings in the U.S. report. I am always keen to read these findings, because it reinforces how Mylan along with our generics industry peers are part of the solution to address the critical economic burden faced by the U.S. healthcare system.
In the last decade, generic drugs have saved the U.S. healthcare system $1.67 trillion, generating $253 billion in savings in 2016 alone. Nearly 3.9 billion of the total 4.4 billion prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. are for generics. That’s equivalent to generics accounting for almost 90% of prescriptions, but only 26% of the cost. Read More
May 30, 2017
Sustaining a Culture that Delivers Better Health for a Better World
I’m truly humbled and honored that tomorrow evening I’ll be receiving Hugh O’Brian Youth’s (HOBY) Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award. HOBY gives this award to individuals who, “through their leadership, have made significant contributions to the education and motivation of youth.”
For those who may not be familiar with HOBY, it was created by actor and humanitarian Hugh O’Brian to help cultivate tomorrow’s leaders by inspiring a global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. In creating the organization, O’Brian was acting on Dr. Schweitzer’s belief that the most important thing in education is to teach young people to think for themselves – a life lesson that was instilled in me at a very young age. Read More
May 16, 2017
Honoring National Women’s Health Week
Sunday marked the beginning of National Women’s Health Week, an annual observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office on Women's Health. HHS’s message of empowering women to make their health a priority is a powerful one, and one that we take seriously at Mylan.
What’s remarkable is that the public dialogue around women’s health has only just begun. We know, unfortunately, that women are at a higher risk of facing a range of potential health concerns. Not only that, but certain diseases also can manifest themselves very differently in men than women. It wasn’t until the past couple of decades that there was an acknowledgement by regulatory bodies, government agencies and the scientific community that women were not adequately enrolled in clinical trials. We are now scratching the surface on how the biological differences between men and women can have a meaningful impact on how diseases affect the two sexes. Read More
February 15, 2017
A New Look for an Industry That's Always Been About Access
I had the pleasure of attending the Generic Pharmaceutical Association’s annual meeting this week. It’s an important meeting for our industry to rally behind and align on how we can continue to play a meaningful role in expanding access to high quality medicines for patients.
Having just finished a one-year term as chair of the association, this year’s event was particularly meaningful as GPhA launched its new brand – the Association for Accessible Medicines -- to better reflect what our industry means to America's healthcare system. Read More