By: Julio Carrasco
Martin Shkreli, the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim, a pill used to treat patients with AIDS from $13.50 to $750 overnight.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association both sent a letter stating the increase in price of Daraprim was “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.” Daraprim is used to treat an infection called Toxoplasmosis. This results from infection with a common parasite that can take a serious on pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as patients with AIDS.
Shkreli claims that since the drug is so rarely used, the impact of Daraprim’s price rise would be minimal. He also claimed to use the money to fund research for a stronger, more effective drug with less side effects. Doctors questioned Turing’s claim on the need for a better drug, stating the side effects could be managed.
Despite many doctors and patient advocate’s outrage, Shkreli said, “This is still one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world…It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this.”
Many disagree. Especially because the drug has been around for over 60 years. Hospitals have claimed that they have had difficulty getting the drug for a few months.
Dr. Aberg of Mount Sinai, says that hospitals will find Daraprim too expensive to keep in stock and cause treatments to be delayed. Dr. Alberg also said, “This seems to be all profit-driven for somebody…and I just think it’s a very dangerous process.”
Many enraged people have posted tweets such as
“ I have dealt with sociopaths in my life. Like @MartinShkreli, theyre good at putting on a mask of charm while engaged in self-centered evil. “
“Oddly enough, Martin Shkreli is like if AIDS were a person. “
After the public’s outrage, Shkreli stated that he would lower the pill’s price but did not specify by how much.