UPDATE: Shady Drug Lord

After public outrage, CEO, Martin Shkerli is lowering the cost of the drug Daraprim. Its not known at this time what the new price will be but it will be lower than the 750 dollar price tag (per pill) that was originally planned. 

Daraprim is a 62-year-old drug that treats life threatening infections. The drug was bought back in August by Turning Pharmaceuticals who is ran by a former hedge fund manager. Turning raised the price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet ! Yes you read correctly.... a TABLET ! Which results in the treatment being thousands of dollars for sickly patients. Researchers say that nothing dramatic or new happened with the drug that would explain the increase in price except alternative therapies being offered.

This isn’t a foreign change, neglected drugs get turned over all the time into high price “specialty drugs” which end up costing way more. The Infectious Disease Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association sent a letter to Martin Shkerli “founder and chief executive” of Turning Pharmaceuticals. They called the price and increase for the drug “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population”, and “unattainable for the health care system”.

This drug is used to treat a parasite infection that can cause serious or even life warning problems for babies born to women who become infected with diseases like AIDS during their pregnancy. Shkerli reasoning for increasing the drug is simply because he said its rarely used and that it wouldn’t impact the health system. He also said that they will use the extra money to do medical research with diseases with fewer side effects. However medical researchers don’t believe that’s reason to increase the price.

-Yinde Newby
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