A former hedge fund manager purchased the rights to a drug that’s been used for 62 years to treat parasitic infections, then hiked the price from around $13.50 per tablet to $750.
The New York Times first reported on the price hike on Monday, leading to near immediate outrage.
The drug is called Daraprim and it is used primarily to treat infants and people who have weakened immune systems — most notably those who have AIDS. It’s among the most common treatments for life-threatening parasitic infections.
Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to the drug in August and soon raised the price. Turing was founded by ex-hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, 32.
In a story for Newsweek:
“Well, we needed to turn a profit on this drug,” Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager, said on Monday to the Bloomberg host who asked why his pharmaceutical start up just raised the price of a drug critical to HIV treatments from $13.50 a tablet to $750 overnight.
In a story on Mashable:
Shkreli told the Times that the price increase was to fund additional research for new drugs, but few seemed to buy that argument — even other companies in the pharmaceutical industry.
He appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg:
From the Daily Beast:
But as Emory University infectious disease professor Dr. Wendy Armstrong told RawStory, “I certainly don’t think this is one of those diseases where we have been clamoring for better therapies.”
None of this seemed to bother Martin Shkreli, as he stated on Twitter:
http://genius.com/Eminem-the-way-i-am-lyrics … And it seems like the media immediately points a finger at me So I point one back at em, but not the index or pinkie
On Monday, Martin Shkreli became social media’s number one enemy! Even Democratic Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton got involved in “bashing” Shkreli on Twitter:
Hillary Clinton retweeted The New York Times
Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on. -H
In a story on DailyMail:
Clinton plans to unveil a plan this week to cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for specialty drugs. She alluded to her plan in public remarks on Monday and said she will spell it out in more detail at a health-care forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
She pointed to a New York Times story that focused on Turing that said while prices sometimes rise due to drug shortages, other times prices balloon as a result of a company’s business strategy of buying older drugs and turning them into expensive specialty drugs.
On Monday, shares in biotech companies such as Immunogen and Gilead Sciences dropped after Clinton’s Tweet.
Whenever Hillary’s involved, I don’t know about you, but I always look for the REAL reasons. She’s like a broken record. You don’t always know the TRUTH up front. I mean this is a woman that has a record of lies dating back since Bill was in office as Govenor of Arkansas. Years of lies! I’m going to guess her poll numbers have been pretty low lately, that she needed some good PR. Or maybe, her son-in-law, hedge fund manager, Marc Mezvinsky, used to work with Martin Shkreli? Can you say “Campaign Opportunity”?
Notice though, after Hillary got involved in the “bashing” and posted on Twitter, biotech stocks took a tumble on Monday! On NASDAQ, the Biotech Index droppred 1.8%. Sounds like more regulations are coming for the drug industry! Thanks Hillary, just what we need from this administration MORE REGULATION to slow down and/or halt the economy!
Written by Nancy Hayes
Follow on Twitter: @bodybynance