Pharmaceutical CEO defends price increase on life-saving drug

Published On September 22, 2015 | By oliviamorris | News
Martin Shkreli said that the decision to increase the price came because the company “need[ed] to turn a profit on this drug.”

Martin Shkreli said that the decision to increase the price came because the company “need[ed] to turn a profit on this drug.”

By Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs


Martin Shkreli will be on ABC Nightly News on Tuesday to defend his position and announce some adjustments to the price hike of life saving drug, Daraprim.

At 32 years old, Shkreli is both a pharmaceutical giant and one of the most hated individuals on social media.

The cost of Daraprim, which is used to treat parasitic infections increased more than 5,400 percent in the past month from $13.50 per tablet to $750.

The price skyrocketed after Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York, acquired the rights to produce the Daraprim last month.

Known generically as pyrimethamine, the 62-year-old drug fights toxoplasmosis, which infects patients whose immune systems are severally compromised due to AIDS, chemotherapy and pregnancy, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

A former hedge fund manager, Shkreli defended his decision on social media and television in the face of widespread criticism, saying that price increase will fund research and development.

On Monday, Shkreli told Bloomberg News that previous rights owners had been “virtually giving it away.”

The price hike has sparked waves of protest in the healthcare community. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association condemned the increase as “unjustifiable” and urged for immediate pricing revisions in an open letter to to Turing.

Many Twitter users have denounced and questioned the controversial business move, including Democratic presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Daraprim isn’t the only drug to undergo a drastic price inflation in recent months.

In North America, Cycloserine, a drug used to treat rare and dangerous multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, jumped overnight from $15 US per pill to $360 US.

Rodelis Therapeutics increased the price of the drug by 2,600 per cent after buying the rights last month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *