Current Affairs

Company which raised price of AIDS drug by 5500% will give just 50% discount

Joe Williams November 23, 2015
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The move has been brandished ‘appalling’ and ‘contemptible’

Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under fire in September after buying the rights to 62-year-old drug Daraprim.

Daraprim is used to treat the toxoplasma gondii parasite, which can cause seizures, blindness, and neurological damage in people with compromised immune systems.

Company which raised price of AIDS drug by 5500% will give just 50% discount

The drug costs less than $1 per tablet to make, and is used to treat conditions including AIDS-related toxoplasmosis.

However, Shkreli last month attempted to dramatically increaser the price of the drug from $13.50 per tablet to $750 – an increase of 5500%.

Following the backlash, Shkreli vowed that Turing Pharmaceuticals would reduce the price of Daraprim – but refused to by how much.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that he now plans a discount of up to 50% – or $375 per pill.

However, these discounts will only apply to hospitals – rather than individuals – with the amount depending on how much of the drug they actually use.

People who still need to use the drug after being discharged from hospital will have to pay the inflated price.

The Human Rights Campaign has criticised the “ridiculous” move, criticising Shkreli’s greed and “blatant disregard” for “vulnerable patients”.

“Martin Shkreli is not pulling the wool over anyone’s eyes. After increasing the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent, he now proposes to gouge critically ill people upwards of $375 for a drug that used to cost just a few dollars,” stated HRC President Chad Griffin.

“His desire to turn a profit at any cost and brazen disregard for the well-being of the most vulnerable patients – including people with HIV and pregnant women – is appalling and contemptible.


“We continue to call on Congress, the Administration and the New York Attorney General to hold Turing Pharmaceuticals to account and do what is necessary to restore this life-saving treatment to its original price.”

Last week, Turing Pharmaceuticals reported a quarterly loss of $14.6 million (£9.6 million).

The loss was made between July and the end of September.

A competitor to Turing recently released a $1 version of the tablet, in a bid to tackle the problems faced by those desperate for the drug.


Related topics: daraprim, drug, Health, HIV, Martin Shkreli, Turing Pharmaceuticals

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