Heather Bresch

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Heather Manchin Bresch
Heather Bresch.jpg
Heather Bresch testifying before the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce in 2012.
Born Heather Manchin[1]
Residence Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania[2]
Nationality American
Other names Heather Kirby[3]
Alma mater West Virginia University (B.A., 1991)
Occupation Chief executive officer
Spouse(s) Jeffrey Bresch
Douglas Kirby (divorced)
Family Joe Manchin (father)

Heather Bresch (born Heather Manchin, circa 1972)[1] is an American business executive and public policy advocate. She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Mylan, a global pharmaceutical company based in Pennsylvania. She was named one of Fortune Magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women In Business" in 2012 and 2013.

Early life and education[edit]

Bresch grew up in Fairmont and Farmington, West Virginia in a Catholic Italian American family.[4] Her father, Joe Manchin, was a prominent politician throughout her childhood and is presently the United States Senator from West Virginia.[1] Bresch attended Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, West Virginia[5] and graduated from West Virginia University (WVU) in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations.[6]

MBA controversy[edit]

Bresch was an MBA student at West Virginia University until 1998. In 2007, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Bresch had claimed to have an MBA degree from West Virginia University, but the university disputed that. The university subsequently awarded her an MBA despite her not attaining sufficient credits. In the ensuing controversy, the university announced in April 2008 that it would rescind Bresch's degree. Michael Garrison, WVU President at the time, was reported to be "a family friend and former business associate of Bresch"[7] and a former consultant and lobbyist for Mylan.[8] Garrison and several university officials subsequently resigned.[9]


Early work[edit]

At a WVU basketball game in 1992, Bresch's father mentioned his daughter's job search to Mylan CEO Milan Puskar. Soon afterwards, the company offered her a low-level position in the quality control department of a factory in Morgantown. She had misgivings about the offer, which her father said she should "absolutely accept" and try for a year. She took his advice, and started as a clerk, typing labels. She received frequent promotions during the following years, "working hard and learning the industry inside out".[4]

Executive career[edit]

Starting in 2002, Bresch served successively as Mylan's director of government relations, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategic Development, Head of North American Operations, and then (in 2009) Chief Operating Officer and Chief Integration Officer.[1][3][10][11][12][13] She joined Mylan's Board of Directors in March 2011.[14]


She has been active in attempts to prevent brand-name pharmaceuticals from delaying the release of generic drugs and appeared before a special United States Senate committee on the issue in 2006[15][16] and again in 2009.[17] Bresch also testified before the Food and Drug Administration in September 2010 on the issue of generic drug user fees, proposing a new user fee structure that aims to generate more funding for the FDA and provide greater assurance for pharmaceutical product safety, regardless of where in the world the product or its ingredients come from.[18] On February 9, 2012, Bresch testified before the United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce in relation to drug supply chain integrity, drug shortages and the Generic Industry's Drug User Fee proposal (GDUFA).[19]


Bresch was named one of Fortune's "50 Most Powerful Women In Business" in 2012[20] and 2013. In 2011, Bresch was named a "Patriot of the Year" by Esquire for her work which led to the passage of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act.[21] Also in 2011, Bresch was named one of Pharmaceutical Executive's "Emerging Pharma Leaders 2011."[22] In 2009, Bresch was named one of the top women in the global pharmaceutical industry by FiercePharma.[23]

Personal life[edit]

Bresch is married to Jones Day lawyer Jeffrey J. Bresch. She was previously married to West Virginia businessman Douglas Kirby. She lives with her husband and four children in Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania.[2][3][4]


  1. ^ a b c d Leslie P. Norton (March 2, 2013). "Medicine Woman". Barron's. Retrieved February 6, 2015. Her father, Joe Manchin, is the former governor of West Virginia, and now the state's junior senator in Washington, D.C. 
  2. ^ a b Ethan Lott (April 26, 2013). "High-end home sales have been going strong over the past three years". Pittsburgh Business Times. Retrieved February 6, 2015. No. 1, 202-204 Scaife Road in Sewickley Heights, was bought by Jeffrey Bresch and Mylan Inc. CEO Heather Bresch from IPEG Inc. Chairman G. Watts Humphrey and Sally K. Humphrey for $2.85 million. 
  3. ^ a b c Patricia Sabatini and Len Boselovic (December 21, 2007). "MBA mystery in Morgantown". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 6, 2015. One of those documents mentions Ms. Bresch -- Ms. Kirby at the time because of her earlier marriage to Douglas Kirby -- by name. 
  4. ^ a b c Nikki Bowman (June 11, 2012). "No Generic Success Story". WV Living Magazine. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ Joselyn King (May 17, 2008). "Garrison: I Need To Stay at WVU". The Intelligencer & Wheeling News Register. Retrieved February 6, 2015. Garrison, a Marion County native, also is a long-time friend of the Manchin family who attended Fairmont Senior High School in Fairmont, W.Va., with Bresch.  (Subscription required.)
  6. ^ Aaron Taube (September 6, 2014). "29 People With ‘Soft’ College Majors Who Became Extremely Successful". Business Insider Indonesia. Retrieved February 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ Len Boselovic and Patricia Sabatini, "University revokes degree after scathing report on M.B.A. awarded to Bresch", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 24 April 2008, accessed 2008-04-24
  8. ^ Ian Urbina, "University Investigates Whether Governor’s Daughter Earned Degree", New York Times, 22 January 2008, accessed 2008-04-24
  9. ^ "College president to quit over degree scandal", MSNBC.com 6 June 2008, accessed 2008-06-06
  10. ^ Burnside, Mary. "Leading Ladies". Corridor Magazine. pp. 16–20. 
  11. ^ Bosco, Andrea (April 22, 2014). "Mylan CEO Continues To Expand International Medicine Efforts". WHIRL Magazine. Retrieved September 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hohmann, George (July 14, 2005). "Manchin's Marion posse". Charleston Daily Mail. pp. 1C. 
  13. ^ Jack W. Plunkett (October 2007). Plunkett's Health Care Industry Almanac 2008: The Only Comprehensive Guide To The Health Care Industry. Plunkett Research, Ltd. p. 547. ISBN 978-1-59392-096-8. 
  14. ^ “Robert Cindrich, Heather Bresch named to Mylan board”, Pittsburgh Business Times, 1 March 2011
  15. ^ "Mylan Calls for End to Abusive Practices That Delay Access to Affordable Pharmaceuticals", PR Newswire, 20 July 2006, accessed 2008-04-24
  16. ^ "Mylan testifies before Senate special committee on aging", Observer-Reporter (Washington, PA), 21 July 2006, accessed on 2008-04-24
  17. ^ Brent Kendall, "Lawmakers, Drug Makers Spar Over Patent Settlements", Wall Street Journal, 3 June 2009
  18. ^ http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM226845.pdf
  19. ^ http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Health/20120209/HTMG-112-HHRG-IF14-WState-HBresch-20120209.pdf
  20. ^ "50 Most Powerful Women in Business". fortune. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  21. ^ "Esquire's Americans of the Year: Patriots", Esquire Magazine, 19 November 2011, accessed 2012-01-31
  22. ^ "Emerging Pharma Leaders 2011". findpharma.com. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 
  23. ^ "Heather Bresch - Top 15 Women in Pharma”, FiercePharma 12 Oct. 2009