Even though Heather Bresch has called the EpiPen her “baby,” its creation was only made possible through a contract with the Defense Department.
According to USUncut, the Pentagon approached the device’s inventor, Sheldon Kaplan, in 1973 to enlist his help in developing a way for soldiers to administer a nerve gas antidote. Before being made available to consumers as the EpiPen, Kaplan’s device was known as the ComboPen.
However, members of his family told the Tampa Bay Times that Kaplan never made royalties off of his creation, since he left the company where he developed it, Survival Technology, before it hit the market.
“He was not famous; he was not wealthy,” said Kaplan’s son Michael Kaplan. “And I don’t think he would’ve liked to be. I don’t think he expected that.”
Kaplan died on Monday, about a month after being diagnosed with liver cancer.
The EpiPen garnered national attention this week following reports that Bresch, CEO of the pharmaceutical company Mylan NV, hiked the price of the device from $47 for a single pen nine years ago to the current price of $284. As STAT reported, Bresch — the daughter of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — faces a possible Senate investigation.