More on the dipshidiot of the day Turing Pharmacueticales is being known
Martin Shkreli Hiked the Price of Daraprim 5,000%, Now Twitter Is Trolling Hard
On Monday, Martin Shkreli made headlines after news broke that his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, had hiked the price of Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug used to treat the parasite toxoplasmosis and that can be life-saving for AIDS patients, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. As the news spread, many attacked Shkreli and Turing, prompting the biotech CEO to open up about about his decision to raise the price by more than 5,000%.
Speaking to Bloomberg Markets, Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, defended the decision, saying the matter was about simple dollars and cents. “This drug was doing $5 million in revenue, and I don’t think you could find a drug company on this planet that could make money on $5 million of revenue,” he told Bloomberg Markets. “Most costs are much higher than that.”
Daraprim costs “very little” to make; the host of Bloomberg Markets estimated that it was about $1.
Additionally, years before anyone even heard of the Daraprim price hike, Shkreli found himself at the center of another controversy. In 2013 as the CEO of biopharmaceutical company Retrophin, Shkreli was engaged in a harassment suit against employee Timothy Pierotti who claimed, in a sworn affidavit to New York’s State Supreme Court, that Shkreli and Retrophin hacked into his various online accounts and sent a letter to Pierotti’s wife saying, “I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this.”
The response online was unsympathetic to the company’s purported money woes, with many zeroing in personally on Shkreli as the ex-hedge-fund-bro personification of evil.
It’s not the first time a lifesaving drug has faced sudden and massive price hikes. On Monday, CBC Newsreporteda 2,000% increase for the price of tcycloserine, a first-line medication used to treat deadly multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.
The Daraprim hike sparked immediate action from the political class as well, with both leading U.S. Democratic presidential candidates weighing in on the discussion. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) penned an open letter to Shkreli announcing a formal investigation into the price hike.
In a tweet, meanwhile, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised policies to address what she openly called “price gouging.”
When Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the 62-year-old drug called Daraprim in August, the company immediately raised the price of one pill from $13.50 to $750. The increase drew protests in the medical community from those concerned that many patients will no longer be able to afford the drug. According to Turing CEO Martin Shkreli, however, the move is simply a smart business decision.
“Why was it necessary to raise the price of Daraprim so drastically?” CBS News correspondent Don Dahler asked Shkreli.
“Well, it depends on how you define so drastically. Because the drug was unprofitable at the former price, so any company selling it would be losing money. And at this price it’s a reasonable profit. Not excessive at all,” Shkreli responded.
Daraprim was developed in 1953 as a treatment for toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite. It comes from eating under-cooked meat or drinking contaminated water, and affects those with compromised immune systems, like AIDS and cancer patients.
When Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim to $750 per tablet, the average cost of treatment for patients rose from about $1,130 to $63,000. For certain patients, the cost can go as high as $634,000.
While Shkreli acknowledged that the move might look “greedy,” he said there are “a lot of altruistic properties to it.”
“This is a disease where there hasn’t been one pharmaceutical company focused on it for 70 years. We’re now a company that is dedicated to the treatment and cure of toxoplasmosis. And with these new profits we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug, in my opinion,” he added.
Oncologist and CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus disagreed.
“Patients shouldn’t be taxed and charged for future research and development. Patients should pay for the drug they’re getting and what they need in the situation that they are” Agus said.
“It’s predatory practice and it’s inappropriate,” he added.
The topic entered the political debate on Monday, with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeting: “Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous.”
Her rival Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Shkreli demanding information on the price increase and called the rate hike “…the latest in a long list of skyrocketing price increases for certain critical medications.”
“Right now it’s out of control, and so we as a country, as a government, as individuals, as doctors all have to get together and say, we need to make pricing appropriate,” Agus said.
But according to Shkreli, the new cost of Daraprim is appropriate.
“There’s no doubt, I’m a capitalist. I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company,” he said. “We’re trying to flourish, but we’re also — our first and primary stakeholders are patients, there’s no doubt about that.”
Hillary Clinton says she will lay out a plan Tuesday about how to take on what she calls price gouging in the specialty drug market. The increased scrutiny on this practice has already led Rodelis Therapeutics that sells tuberculosis drug Cycloserine to rescind a major price hike enacted just last month.
He still is and always will be a shithead. And from what little I have seen, admittedly not a lot he sickens me, He has priors for this.
A drug treating a common parasite that attacks people with weakened immune systems increased in cost 5,000% to $750 per pill.
At a time of heightened attention to the rising cost of prescription drugs, doctors who treat patients with AIDS and cancer are denouncing the new cost to treat a condition that can be life-threatening.
Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill last month, shortly after purchasing the rights to the drug from Impax Laboratories. Turing has exclusive rights to market Daraprim (pyrimethamine), on the market since 1953.
Daraprim fights toxoplasmosis, the second most common food-borne disease, which can easily infect people whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS, chemotherapy or even pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“This is a tremendous increase,” said Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicine Association. Even patients with insurance could have trouble affording the medication, she said. That’s because insurance companies often put high-price drugs in the “specialty” category, requiring patients to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Patients whose insurance plans require them to pay 20% of the cost — a common practice — would shell out $150 a pill.
About 60 million people in the United States may carry the Toxoplasma parasite, according to the CDC. It comes from eating under-cooked meat, cooking with contaminated knives and boards, drinking unclean water and contact with infected cat feces.
Mothers can also pass it to their children during pregnancy and organ transplant patients can get it through an infected donor. Symptoms can feel flu-like, but the parasite attacks the brain and can lead to blindness or brain damage.
A number of doctors and patient advocates recently have spoken out about the rising costs of prescription drugs.
The average cost of brand-name medications rose 13% in 2013, according to a reportfrom the Prime Institute at the University of Minnesota. New cancer drugs now routinely cost more than $100,000 a year. A new brand-name hepatitis drug, Sovaldi, costs $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.
“Every week, I’m learning about another drug that has increased in price because of a change in marketing or the distributor,” Aberg said.
Skyrocketing drug prices leave cures out of reach for some patients
The HIV Medicine Association and Infectious Diseases Society of America wrote Turing about concerns over the new price. Aberg said she worries the increase will prevent hospitals from stocking Daraprim, which could delay patient treatment. There are no alternative brands for pyrimethamine, and other treatments are not strong enough.
The price increase hasn’t yet delayed patient care, said Rima McLeod, medical director at the University of Chicago Toxoplasmosis Center.
“Turing’s people have been helpful every single time,” McLeod said, noting that she has been able to get patients on medication on the day they needed it.
McLeod heads research on toxoplasmosis in Chicago. She said up to 3 billion people in the world are infected with the parasite, which attacks the brain.
“It’s a serious disease and it’s been neglected in this country for a long time, for the most part,” McLeod said.
Skyrocketing drug prices leave cures out of reach for some patients
It’s critical that the treatment stays readily available, McLeod said.
“It makes the difference between whether people see or don’t see, whether babies grow to live happy lives with families or not,” she said.
A Turing spokesman, Craig Rothenberg, said the company is working with hospitals and providers to get every patient covered. This includes free-of-charge options for uninsured patients and co-pay assistance programs.
Rothenberg defended Daraprim’s price, saying that the company will use the money it makes from sales to further research treatments for toxoplasmosis. They also plan to invest in marketing and education tools to make people more aware of the disease.
“There has been no innovation in dealing with toxoplasmosis,” Rothenberg said. “That has been a long neglect in the patient community.”
We have sadly become a nation in search of the almighty dollar and not caring who get FUCKED in the process.
I constantly see these ads for these Pharmaceuticals on TV and such and they love to try to put out a persona of being so people friendly and concerned about the quality of life. Then this type shit.