MedCareerNews reported yesterday on the recent price hike on Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Last night on ABC World News Tonight, the CEO responsible, Martin Shkreli, caved to public pressure and has lowered the price. In the wake of the price hike the Daily Beast had declared Shkreli the “most-hated man in America,” surpassing the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion.
Shkreli says he has heard the outcry, which included a tweet from Hillary Clinton. On Monday she said she wanted to put an end to drug “price gouging.”
“We’ve agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a price that is more affordable,” Shkreli said on ABC World News Tonight. While didn’t say what that “affordable” price would be, he stressed that the company already gives away the drug for free to about half the patients who use it and that Turing plans to expand its charitable drug program. Shkreli has been defending himself on Twitter and in numerous TV interviews.
“We needed to turn a profit on the drug,” Shkreli told Bloomberg, arguing that companies that owned the drug before were giving it away at $13.50. The drug is used by some AIDS and cancer patients. It’s been around for 62 years, but Shkreli’s company bought the rights to it from another firm in August. The main use of the drug is to treat life-threatening parasitic infections.
He says it’s not just about turning profit. Turing plans to use the money to research a better way to treat diseases. The drug is used by some AIDS and cancer patients. It’s been around for decades but Shkreli’s company just bought the rights to it in August. The main use of the drug is to treat life-threatening parasitic infections.
“They don’t deserve a drug that is 70 years old,” he said about Daraprim, adding: “I know what we’re doing is right.”
Shkreli is only 32-years-old. He’s been called everything from a boy genius to a vulture. Shkreli is a controversial millionaire who has founded several companies since dropping out of high school, but hasn’t lasted long at many of them.
“I guess some people think Daraprim access will decline instead of increase. I guarantee better access at lower prices to patients than ever,” tweeted Shkreli.
Known for being very candid on Twitter — he tweeted Monday “It seems like the media immediately points a finger at me so I point one back at em, but not the index or pinkie” — he opted to make his account private on Tuesday night.
His outspoken tweets were one of the reasons he was ousted as CEO of his prior company, Retrophin ( ).