CEO Buys Rights To AIDS Medication And Immediately Jacks Up Price From $13.50 to $750 . . . Then Calls Reporter A “Moron” For Asking Why

CMN7JlVUYAAzwS5Turing chief executive Martin Shkreli (shown here) has become an overnight villain after public interest organizations raised alarm over his company buying a long-used medicine, Daraprim, in the treatment of AIDS and immediately raised the price of $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. When a reporter asked him to explain the increase for a drug that has been on the market for 62 years, Shkreli called him a “moron” and refused to answer the question. The company has now become a target in the presidential election as an example of how companies are still profiteering on these drugs.

Daraprim is used to address a food-borne illness called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite that can severely affect those with compromised immune systems. Turing purchased the rights to the drug last month and hit AIDS patients with the immediate massive increase.

Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicine Association, says that even with insurance, the increase would mean that patients could be forced to pay $150 per pill out of pocket.

Alberg’s group and the Infectious Diseases Society of America wrote in a joint letter to Turing declaring the price increase to be “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.”

Turing spokesman Craig Rothenberg has said the company will use the money to fun more research and marketing and education tools to raise awareness of the disease.

With a price increase of at least 4,100 percent, John Carroll, the editor of Fierce Biotech, asked Turing chief executive Martin Shkreli directly to explain the increase and Shkreli refused to explain and instead insulted him personally as “irrelevant” and someone who doesn’t “think logically. He also sent a helpful tweet that said “You are such a moron.”

After all, Turing’s webpage explains that “We are dedicated to helping patients” . . . at $750 pill.

52 thoughts on “CEO Buys Rights To AIDS Medication And Immediately Jacks Up Price From $13.50 to $750 . . . Then Calls Reporter A “Moron” For Asking Why”

  1. Max-1
    He ‘brags’ that the drug is practically given away to people who can’t afford it…
    … Ergo, and this is a tough one to ‘get’ but here we are, making the drug 5500% more expensive means he’s made it too expensive for more people. Therefor his company will be giving away MORE. Which, btw, costs more money on the bottom line.</i.

    Why are you pretending you care about his bottom line? This is exactly what the left wants: vastly greater prices for people who "can" afford it, "free" to those who tend to vote left. You might as well title your position "Disingenuous Criticisms I Make Solely Because I Dislike Someone".

    His rhetoric about the economics of such a price gouge didn’t last long…

    This is capitalism.

    Max-1
    The human condition isn’t, or rather shouldn’t be, an issue of Left vs Right.

    It inescapably is as long as the left continues to champion economic systems that retard growth and advancement.

  2. Rick ,
    The human condition isn’t, or rather shouldn’t be, an issue of Left vs Right. Just watch his interview… I was commenting on his rhetoric.

    He ‘brags’ that the drug is practically given away to people who can’t afford it…
    … Ergo, and this is a tough one to ‘get’ but here we are, making the drug 5500% more expensive means he’s made it too expensive for more people. Therefor his company will be giving away MORE. Which, btw, costs more money on the bottom line.

  3. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/09/22/martin_shkreli_price_gouging_the_hedge_fund_bro_pulled_drug_price_hike_scheme.html

    “That Guy Who Is Price-Gouging AIDS Patients Also Did It to Kids with Kidney Disease

    The former hedge fund manager whose pharmaceutical company has come under withering attack for allegations of egregious price-gouging on life-saving medication is the subject of a $65 million lawsuit by his former employer for alleged stock manipulation—and it turns out he once tried a similar price hike scheme with that company. During Martin Shkreli’s tenure as CEO of Retrophin—the company that is now suing him—the company increased prices on a decades-old kidney medication by about 20 times its original cost, a move similar to the controversial price increase by his new company reported by the New York Times on Sunday.

    There was no alternative drug for cystinuria sufferers, Brozak reported, and the 20-fold hike raised the price to about between $54,750 to $109,500 per year. At the time, Brozak argued that Retrophin was “turning patients into commodities like barrels of oil,” while University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Associate Professor of Urology Benjamin Davies called it a case of “predatory capitalism on the backs of the sick and silent.” Writing for Science Translational Medicine, pharmaceutical columnist Derek Lowe said the Thiola increase was the “most unconscionable drug price hike I have yet seen.”

  4. not an hiv drug….just ppl with hiv are immune compromised. It’s a cat chit (toxoplasmo) and anti malirial drug….made in CHINA. An important drug nonetheless…but being as china mfg it how long could a knock off recipe take after what has been six decades?
    Not long for the rest of the
    world. Then what are they going to confiscate it at mexicos border (we don’t have on)? Ppl cld soon get it there for a fraction of their copay. Free enterprise is pure with an active ‘black market’…..something less
    without one. We are morons to want it any other way. This jerk said fu …. Someone will fill the shoes with a bigger bird he’ll be obe. he has no monopoly unless he’s the fda and china….he’s neither and has no control over any. I was at an aids place once….no mds there. Ppl can take whatever they want and get better prices…..and the same made in china knock offs. Big deal.

  5. Capitalism did not create the National Institutes of Health which have funded research for the benefit of all since the 1930’s. This research has been and continues to be the foundation for vast numbers of the drugs we have available today.

    Every pharmaceutical company continues to sell its drugs in countries where prices are regulated.

    The blatant ignorance about fundamentals of economics, especially health-care economics, in several of the above posts is simply staggering. No understanding of markets. Nothing more than the usual conservative reactionary crapola. Unregulated free markets work for about five minutes before they start into the boom and bust cycle that is the precise history of the American economic system. The Great Depression was not the first economic crisis, it came after a long long string of bank busts all of which were “socialized” upon the public. As always, conservatives like to pass of their failures on the poor and middle class and keep the goodies for themselves.

    Hedge fund managers and flash traders create not one iota of “value added” and should be moved off the board with a few simple regulations.

    Try googling healthcare economics and go read something.

  6. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

    vs.

    Freedom to take the —- care of yourself.

  7. Max-1
    1, September 22, 2015 at 2:38 pm
    Rick
    It’s outpriced now…

    And under other economic systems the drug wouldn’t exist. So the worst case you can find under capitalism, that someone doesn’t get the drug and dies, is the only option under them. Somehow this is an indictment of capitalism?

    … So, what’s your point here?

    It seems clear to me.

    … He’s now going to give away a lot more of this drug because he’s made it unaffordable….

    Why would this bother you? Isn’t this exactly what the left wants: outrageous prices for those who “can” afford them, free to those who can’t?

    Go sailing out to the sea and shoot a hole in your boat. Go for it! Same mentality

    If it occurs he’ll reduce the price. This is capitalism.

  8. Why are we not discussing the pure greed of union strikers who demand the law be on their side. What?

    Free Americans should be infuriated by laws that preclude business owners from firing strikers and hiring replacements.

    The lazy, greedy, striking teachers union in Seattle just RIPPED-OFF the taxpayers for more money-for-nothing. Any fool with a high school diploma could generate the product of the Seattle School District or any other, for that matter (the raw dropout rate is about 40% – graduates become fork lift drivers and dental assistants). Teachers compel laws against hiring replacements and impose “educational prerequisites” that are wholly unnecessary and ineffective.

    How about those greedy nurses who recently completed strike action. It is said that they have secured an average $66K salary by striking in the street – not by job performance that is accretive to their company. One can only imagine the difficulty of learning how to give a patient a shot with a needle. That must be tough; nearly impossible.

    Greedy union strikers should be fired immediately and replacements hired.

  9. “Capitalism” is a pejorative coined by Karl Marx. Marx created a lexicon whereby human endeavor could be controlled for the “good” of the collective. Marxism is enslavement.

    Free Enterprise was established by the American Founders.

    Americans have the right to freedom, free enterprise and private property.

    Free enterprise occurs in open free markets.

    All people may engage in free enterprise in free markets.

    Anyone who is capable of competing may freely compete.

    Competition definitively sets prices and wages.

    Government setting of prices and wages is not constitutional and is not a function of governance.

    The function of government is Justice, Tranquility, Common Defence, Promote General Welfare (i.e. utilities).

    __________

    How and where people on this site learned to expect the government to make decisions for them and to live their entire lives for them is unimaginable.

    People here have been taught the very Marxism of the Communist Manifesto – constantly begging the government to resolve every last anomaly in their lives.

    None of this parasitism existed in America in 1789. No parasitism was practiced in America in 1789.

    The fundamental rules of civil and political existence have not changed.

    The American thesis was and is Freedom and Self-Reliance.

    No one has ever modified the Ten Commandments.

    No one should have ever modified the American Thesis or the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights. Absolute power has absolutely corrupted the SCOTUS and judicial branch. Free enterprise is the business of free citizens, distinctly NOT the government.

    This pursuit is un-American.

    __________

    Not one of you here would complain or otherwise make it known if an anonymous buyer drove down your street and submitted a private cash offer of $10 million for you house.

    You would have no concern for government price setting in that case. Or if the profiting principal were your daughter, mother, granddaughter or grandmother. You would be very happy for any or all of them to become wealthy overnight.

    Greedy hypocrites, one and all.

    Not to put too fine a point on it.

  10. So, who pays through the nose so this guy’s BS floats? If ever there was a ‘You just don’t understand so leave it all to us.’ routine this is it. I would love to hear Trump’s response to this scumbag.

  11. He’s now going to give away a lot more of this drug because he’s made it unaffordable…
    … Go sailing out to the sea and shoot a hole in your boat. Go for it! Same mentality.

  12. Annie
    1, September 22, 2015 at 12:49 pm
    This is capitalism.

    The world where everyone who needed this drug died because it wasn’t available? That’s the alternative to capitalism.

  13. The drug costs less to manufacture than the original pricetag.
    Yet, this man feels it isn’t profitable… enough.

    People may die due to this unaffordable’ drug that once was affordable.
    But what does he care?

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