The Turing Pharmaceutics Company increased the price of medication from $13.50 to a whopping $750 overnight, which angered the HIV/AIDS patient advocacy group as well as other people.
Daraprim is a drug that is used by those who suffer from an illness called toxoplasmosis. This food-borne illness that affects those with jeopardized immune systems, is caused by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. The drug has been on the market for 62 years, but nothing like this has ever happened in the past.
Last month, the rights to the drug were purchased by the Turing Pharmaceutics Company and its price was raised shortly after. Customers are now asking for new laws in order to prevent such things from happening in the future.
Patients who have insurance, will still pay an amount of $150 per pill using their own money, stated Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicare Association. The Infectious Diseases Society and the HIV Medicare Association wrote in a letter to the Turing Pharmaceutics Company that the price “unsustainable for the health care system” and it is “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population.”
“The enormous, overnight price increase for Daraprim is just the latest in a long list of sky-rocketing price increases for certain critical medications. Americans should not have to live in fear that they will die or go bankrupt because they cannot afford to take the life-saving medication they need,” wrote Bernie Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, and Elijah Eugene Cummings (D-Md.), the U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district, in a letter to the Turing Pharmaceutics Company.
Craig Rothenberg, a spokesman for Turing, said that the money from the sales will be put to good use, as the company wants to invest in finding new treatments for toxoplasmosis. The company also has plans to raise awareness of the disease by spending money on education and marketing tools, Rothenberg adds. Although reasonable, these answers were unsatisfactory for many people.
When asked about the increased price, Martin Shkreli, the chief executive at Turing, refused to provide additional information.
The Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, believed that the new price was “outrageous” and reassured people that she would tackle the issue. A drug pricing proposal will be revealed on Tuesday by Clinton.
Image Source: radionz