Darapim’s price increased by 5,000 percent. The AIDS drug’s per-pill price raised from $13.50 to $750. The Turing Pharmaceuticals company purchased the 62-year-old drug in August, and immediately raised the price substantially.
The Darapim price hike could cause some patients to no longer be able to afford the AIDS medication, CBS News reports. Turing CEO Martin Shkreli said the 5,000 percent price increase was merely a smart business decision.
A letter sent jointly by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association earlier this month deemed the Daraprim 5,000 percent price increase “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton weighed in on the hotly-debated topic on Twitter earlier this week, News Max reports.
“Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on,” Clinton tweeted.
Turing founder Martin Shkreli disagrees with the Clinton assessment of the price increase. Shkreli maintains that the hike was necessary to bring per-pill price in line with that of other specialty and “rarely-used” drugs. The Turing Pharmaceutical executive also added that the additional funds would be used to create new and even more successful drugs, which produce fewer side effects.
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Shkreli said. “This is still one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world. It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this.”
The New England Journal of Medicine cautioned against increase drug prices in a lengthy report last year.
“Manufacturers of generic drugs that legally obtain a market monopoly are free to unilaterally raise the prices of their products. There is little that individual consumers can do. Some drug companies… offer assistance programs for indigent patients, but these programs often have complicated enrollment processes, and they do not offer an effective general safety net.”
Democratic socialist presidential Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah E. Cummings authored the Medicaid Generic Drug Price Fairness Act, to address what they consider prescription price gouging, in July. The two progressive lawmakers also wrote a letter to Valeant Pharmaceuticals, expressing concerns about similar price increases for the heart medications Isuprel and Nitropress. According to Bernie Sanders and Cummings, the pharmaceutical company raised the prices of the drugs by 525 percent and 212 percent, respectively.
What do you think about the price of Daraprim being increased by 5,000 percent?
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