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EpiPen maker’s stock value plunges nearly $3 billion as investors panic

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Mylan Pharmaceuticals — the company that makes the EpiPen rescue device — has watched its stock value plummet over the last five days as panicky investors jump ship.

According to U.S. Uncut, outrage over Mylan’s decision to jack up the price of the EpiPen has spooked shareholders, whose departures have reduced the value of Mylan stock by 12.4 percent. On August 19, Mylan stocks went from $49.20 per share to $43.11 on August 24, a net loss of nearly $3 billion for the company.

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The EpiPen is a popular rescue device for food allergy sufferers who run the risk of anaphylaxis — a potentially lethal reaction to allergen exposure. The device rapidly delivers a dose of epinephrine to the system, which for severe allergy sufferers can mean the difference between life and death.

The device was conceived and developed for the U.S. Department of Defense by researcher Sheldon Kaplan. The studies and testing were all underwritten by U.S. taxpayer revenues. The device was originally created as an antidote to nerve gas, but it was released to the public as a rapid remedy to anaphylactic shock.

Tom Cahill at U.S. Uncut wrote, “However, in 2007, Mylan Pharmaceuticals acquired the rights to the EpiPen and immediately started raising the price. After Heather Bresch, its former top lobbyist, successfully pushed for legislation in Congress that required all public schools to carry EpiPens for children with food allergies, its price hikes became more frequent and more severe, raising by at least 10 percent every other quarter from the fourth quarter of 2013 to the second quarter of 2016. A score of U.S. Senators are calling for an investigation into the price hikes.”

Over the course of her tenure at the company, Bresch — daughter of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — raised her own salary 617 percent and conducted an offshore reincorporation of Mylan, Inc. under the Netherlands’ looser corporate laws, but maintained the company’s headquarters and operations in the U.S.. This practice is known as “inversion” and it has become a popular way for U.S. companies to lower their effective tax rate while continuing to enjoy all the market rights and privileges of companies conducting all of their business domestically.

Bresch — who was one of Fortune magazine’s most powerful women of 2015 — gave a disastrous interview to CNBC on Thursday, attempting to pass off her $16 million salary hike and the 450 percent increase in EpiPen prices as perfectly normal business practices in the pharmaceutical industry.

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Interviewer Brian Kelly pointed out that Bresch apparently used her power as a lobbyist-turned-CEO and her influence with heads of state to legislate a market for her company’s product, then inflated the price.

“I’m legislating in the access to EpiPens!” she protested.

An estimated 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, including 1 in every 13 children under 18. Every three minutes, a food allergic reaction sends an American to the emergency room, totaling around 200,000 hospital visits per year.

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2020 Election

If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose

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Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an "electable" frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump's fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House's investigation of it.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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