A little excessive, don’t you think?
Many people raised their eyebrows when Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the drug Daraprim in August and raised its per-pill price from $13.50 to $750—ahem, a 5,000 percent increase. But not the company’s CEO Martin Shkreli. Nope. He thinks the raise is totally casual because, ya know, Americans can easily drop nearly $800 for one damn tablet.
“Well, it depends on how you define so drastically. Because the drug was unprofitable at the former price, so any company selling it would be losing money. And at this price it’s a reasonable profit. Not excessive at all,” Martin said when a CBS news reporter asked about the jarring price change.
Daraprim treats toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection that stems from consuming unprepared meat or drinking tainted water. It affects people with “compromised immune systems” like cancer and AIDS patients, according to CBS. (In other words, it’s a helluva important drug.)
So, why TF did Turing jack up the price? If you believe Martin, it’s to help people in the long run. (LOL, k.) “We’re now a company that is dedicated to the treatment and cure of toxoplasmosis,” he said, CBS reports. “And with these new profits we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug, in my opinion.”
But Dr. David Agus, a CBS News medical contributor, sees it differently (and we agree). “Patients shouldn’t be taxed and charged for future research and development. Patients should pay for the drug they’re getting and what they need in the situation that they are,” he said. Damn straight.
Martin is clearly operating under a, “Cannot see the haters” mentality right now, because he tweeted Eminem lyrics to show just how little f—cks he gives about his detractors. What an IRL baller.
http://t.co/co6Fmwk3XX And it seems like the media immediately points a finger at me So I point one back at em, but not the index or pinkie
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) September 21, 2015
And then he wrote this lovely message with near-perfect capitalization and punctuation.
i am not the one to fuck with #wutang
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) August 17, 2015
Martin said Turing’s “first and primary stakeholders are patients,” but also quipped, “There’s no doubt, I’m a capitalist. I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company.” Which one is it, pal? $750 per pill does not seem to be in patients’ best interests, and your last quote serves a little too much Mr.-Potter-from-It’s-a-Wonderful-Life realness.
What do y’all think? Does the price increase make sense? Let us know in the comments below.