You would think that there would be marginal profits in the business of life saving drugs. But no. There are people like Martin Shkreli, 32, who has hiked up the price for a 62 year old drug called Daraprim from $13.5 per tablet to a whopping $750 per tablet. The internet has risen against this unjust price hike and has made Shkreli the public enemy number one. Shkreli is the owner of Turing Pharmaceuticals and bought the rights to the drug in August, 2015 while the price hike was reported by The Times of New York on Monday.
This has brought a strong response from the cyber world and folks took specially to Twitter to register their protests. Those included in raising their voice included the like of Hilary Clinton as well.
Shkreli is already hailed as some sort of a wonderkid who started his own hedge fund company in his 20s and has made a lot of money. He was brought into the spotlight when it was alleged that he brought down the stocks of his rival companies by spreading negative blogs about them and vilification of his competitors. Shkreli has already admitted that he has no expertise in medicine whatsoever and is set to make a large sum of money via this price hike. But this time he might have taken this a bit too far.
The drug in question is called Daraprim and is used to cure life threatening parasitic infections especially in patients with HIV. A joint letter sent by Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association to Turing earlier this month called this price rise “unjustifiable” and called for an immediate reversion to the original price.
Though first approved by the FDA in 1953 for manufacture, the rights for Daraprim were sold by the original manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline to CorePharma in 2010. In 2014, Core was bought over by Impax Laboratories for $700 million who sold their drug Daraprim to Turing in August 2015. The price of this purchase was $55 million and Turing also said that it had raised over $90 million from Shkreli and other investors in the first financing meeting.
In fact, the truth is that Shkreli is not the one at fault here. He is just one of many sharks in the aquarium eating away the small fish. And he is well within his rights to do so under the current healthcare laws. This whole fiasco just goes to show everything that is wrong with the American healthcare system. Shkreli has maintained that the price hike was necessary as the additional money will be used to develop better treatment for toxoplasmosis.
Toxoplasmosis is a minor side effect of Daraprim and is a disease suffered by half of the world’s populations. But all doctors agree that the disease is not threatening and can be controlled easily using other drugs and methods. So this lame excuse of Mr. Shkreli can easily be dismissed. Here he can be seen giving an interview to CNBC.