By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
Turing garnered infamy for the 5000 percent price increase of Daraprim, a $13.50 medication indicated for patients requiring treatment of Toxoplasma gondii–an opportunistic pathogen afflicting the immune-compromised such as AIDS patients. Monthly treatment cost now associated with the drug can be upwards of seventy-five thousand dollars. See previous articles HERE and HERE.
Interim CEO Ron Tiles thanked the 32-year-old for “helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research-focused company it is today.”
Turing Pharmaceuticals issued a press release which reads in part:
Zug, Switzerland, December 18, 2015 — Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative treatments for serious diseases and conditions, today announced the resignation of Martin Shkreli from the position of Chief Executive Officer and the appointment of Ron Tilles to the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Tilles will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He said, “We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors. At the same time, I am very excited about the opportunity to guide Turing Pharmaceuticals forward. We remain committed to ensuring that all patients have ready and affordable access to Daraprim and Vecamyl. Research Development on new medications continues to be a priority for the company. With the dynamic leadership of Eliseo Salinas as head of Research and Development and Nancy Retzlaff as head of Commercial Operations, Turing Pharmaceuticals is poised for great success in the coming years.”
I find it interesting that this press release mentioned Daraprim and how it is coupled with all patients having affordable access. It seems rather certain that Turing is responding to the pariah reputation it has earned as a result of the price increases but hedged its bets by focusing on patients and not insurance providers and institutions, which have been under Shkreli made a target of high pricing. It will certainly remain to be seen what happens in practice, especially in light of the cash cow it now can still milk.
Turing will have a serious PR problem to contend with despite the resignation of its flamboyant and extravagant CEO. It could establish some goodwill with some reasonableness.
Depending on single streams of revenue can be problematic, especially when science discovers alternate drug treatment regimes and large insurers update their formularies. There are many forms of justice, my friends.
By Darren Smith
Turing Pharmaceuticals, Press Release
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