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Martin Shkreli wishes he had raised price of AIDS drug even higher

Joe Williams December 7, 2015

The controversial pharmaceuticals boss raised prices of the drug by 5,500%.

Martin Shkreli – CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – faced the wrath of millions after raising the price of AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 in just 24 hours.

The 62-year-old drug costs less than $1 per tablet to make, and is used to treat conditions including AIDS-related toxoplasmosis.

Following the backlash, Shkreli vowed that Turing Pharmaceuticals would reduce the price of Daraprim – but later announced a discount of just 50%.

However, rather than lament his greed, the former hedge fund manager claims that he now wishes he risen the price of the drug even higher – in order to “maximise profit.”

“I think I could have it raised it higher and made even more profit,” he told Forbes Healthcare Summit last week.

“This is a capitalist society, capitalist system and capitalist rules.

“My investors expect me to maximize profits, not to minimize them, or go half, or go 70%, but to go to 100% of the profit curve that we’re all taught in MBA class.”

Luckily, not everybody has the same approach to the market as the young multi-millionaire.

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, based in San Diego, which mixes approved drug ingredients to make alternate versions of drugs, will supply a Daraprim alternative for $1.

The company said it would combine the active ingredients in Daraprim, and supply a 100-capsule bottle for $99.

Daraprim is not the only drug which will get a price makeover by Imprimis.

Chief Executive Mark Baum told the Associated Press that other generic drugs which have seen drastic price hikes will also be replicated.

“We are looking at all of these cases where the sole-source generic companies are jacking the price way up,” Baum said in an interview.

“There’ll be many more of these,” compounded drugs coming in the near future.

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

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

New York’s attorney general also recently announced plans to launch a probe into the company over the price hike, which may have violated the law.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating whether the company broke antitrust rules, by attempting to hamper competition from generic competitor drugs.

More: AIDS, daraprim, HIV, imprimis, Martin Shkreli, Turing Pharmaceuticals, US

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