Turing Pharmaceuticals to Lower Daraprim Price amid Criticisms

Turing Pharmaceuticals/Daraprim

Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager and the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals said they decided to reduce the price of Daraprim, an antibiotic used to treat a deadly parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis.

In interview with ABC News, Shkreli said, “We’ve agreed to lower the price on Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit. We think these changes will be welcomed.”

Turing Pharmaceuticals received strong criticisms

Turing Pharmaceuticals made the decision after receiving strong criticisms from medical organizations, government officials and others for drastically raising the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill—an increase of over 5,000%.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America and HIV Medicine Association said the price increase for Daraprim as “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and unsustainable for the healthcare system.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton described the price hike for Daraprim as “outrageous.”

On the other hand, Senator Bernie Sanders send a letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals demanding an explanation for drastic increase in the price of the antibiotic. He called the move “the latest in a long list of skyrocketing price increases for certain medical medications.”

Shkreli’s explanation for the price increase

In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, Shkreli explained that Turing Pharmaceuticals decided to increase the price of Daraprim to $750 a pill because its previous price was unprofitable. He pointed out, “Any company selling it would be losing money, and at this price, it’s reasonable profit. Not excessive at all.”

Shkreli also accepted the fact that the huge increase in the price of Daraprim looks “greedy” but he explained that there are “a lot of altruistic properties to it.” He noted that no pharmaceutical company focused on toxoplasmosis for 70 years. He added that Turing Pharmaceuticals is currently “dedicated to the treatment and cure of toxoplasmosis.”

“With these new profits, we can spend all of the upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug, in my opinion,” said Shkreli.

Furthermore, Shkreli emphasized that he is a “capitalist” and he is “trying to create a big drug company, a successful and profitable drug company.”  Moreover he said, “our first and primary stakeholders are patients, there’s no doubt about that.”

Sources: ABC News, CBS News