Mylan Pharmaceuticals received a huge amount of press in the United States recently. Why so much (negative) attention? Mylan is under heavy criticism for raising the price of its popular and very useful--even life saving--EPIPEN. Not only are U.S. Senators upset, but the media and public are outraged by Mylan's pricing. Is all of this publicity good or bad for Mylan? From a trademark perspective, it appears it is both.
The EPIPEN epinephrine pen is a combination drug device used to deliver a dosage of epinephrine for allergy sufferers. An article in Bloomberg titled, How Marketing Turned the Epipen into a Billion Dollar Business, recently discussed the incredible success of the EPIPEN. The CEO of Mylan, Heather Bresch, embarked on an education campaign about the dangers of allergies with parents of children. She then engaged in a very successful campaign lobbying and educating legislators about allergic reactions. This led to federal legislation concerning the availability of EPIPENs in schools as well as schools stocking the product which expires after one-year. The plan is to essentially have every place where people congregate with an EPIPEN on hand--and required by law.
|I'm allergic to dumplings.|
On the other hand, the massive bad press may be good for the trademark protection of the EPIPEN. Mylan is clearly being named as the source of the EPIPEN epinephrine pen--letting the public know that there is a single source for the EPIPEN epinephrine pen. Thus, Mylan's trademark protection may be getting stronger by the day because consumers, including prescribing doctors and pharmacists, may understand that EPIPEN is a trademark for epinephrine pens coming from Mylan. Thus, all publicity--even bad publicity--is not bad, at least from a trademark perspective. Fortunately for Mylan, the publicity is not even about the product being terrible--the underlying message is that Mylan's product is amazing.