On Tuesday, Turing Pharmaceuticals announced that they will not lower the price of Daraprim, the decades-old drug the company purchased early this year and immediately raised the price from $13.50 to $750.
In a press release, Turing announced that despite previously saying the price would drop, the company would not lower the astronomical new price of the drug. Turing will offer half price discounts to hospitals, and reduce the number of pills in a bottle in order to make the drug more affordable.
“Combined with our robust patient access programs, this is an important step in our commitment to ensure ready access to Daraprim at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost for both hospitals and patients.” said Nancy Retzlaff, Turing’s chief commercial officer. “We pledge that no patient needing Daraprim will ever be denied access.”
If you ever stop and think to yourself "Am I a bad person?" take solace in the fact that you probably aren't Martin Shkreli bad.
— Sinow (@SinowBeats) November 25, 2015
Turing will offer other discounts and incentives to the drug, including offering co-payments of no more than $10 for insured patients, and offering free trial packages. Although Turing attempted to focus on the discounts, the uninsured and underinsured will be hit the hardest by the 5000% markup.
Turing, led by controversial CEO Martin Skreli, who earned the nickname “Pharma Bro,” purchased Daraprim earlier this year, and immediately jacked up the price of the decades-old drug. Daraprim is used to fight parasitic infection in AIDS and cancer patients. Skreli claims that he boosted the price to fund research and development of other drugs. Turing is currently under legal investigation for price gouging.
“This is, as the saying goes, nothing more than lipstick on a pig,” said Tom Horn, a leader in Treatment in Action, an HIV/AIDS policy group.
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