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Wild Drug Price Hike Spurns Strong Reaction from Hillary Clinton
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Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals, courtesy of New York Times

Summary: After Turing Pharmaceuticals received backlash from raising a drug price by nearly 5000%, the new company is already announcing a rollback. But it’s too late. The masses are already demanding pharmaceutical reform.

Thirty-two-year-old Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli learned firsthand that nobody likes a greedy S-O-B. After nearly one day of being “the most hated man on the internet” according to Raw Story, he is already rethinking the price increase of his drug Daraprim.

  
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CNBC reported Tuesday evening that Martin will lower the cost of the drug, but he has not yet announced the new price.

Martin ignited a firestorm after he raised the cost of Daraprim overnight from $13.50 per tablet to $750, an almost 5,000 percent increase. Martin’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired the rights to the drug in August. Martin originally defended his decision, telling the New York Times that the increase was necessary.

“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Martin said.

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It is noted that Martin has a history of alleged unscrupulous business practices. According to Raw Story, his former company Retrophin is suing him for $65 million in damages, claiming Martin gave shares to friends and used the company to pay off personal debts.

Those in the medical community were horrified by the Daraprim increase and worried that many patients wouldn’t be able to afford the medicine. Daraprim has been around for 62 years, and it is mainly used to treat a parasite infection called toxoplasmosis, which affects those with compromised immune systems caused by AIDS or some cancers.



Additionally, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke out about Turing Pharmaceutical’s price gouging. Although Turing is not the first company to dramatically increase prices in the history of the pharmaceutical industry, it appeared to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Before her plan was released, her tweet caused the shares of domestic biotechnology companies to plummet. This volatility spread to European companies on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Hillary unveiled a plan to lower prescription drug costs, as documented in USA Today. The plan includes the following points:

  • Encourage the production of generic drugs

  • Place a monthly cap of $250 on out-of-pocket expenses for patients with chronic or serious health problems

  • Allow Americans to import drugs from other countries

  • Allow Medicare to negotiate prices



 

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