It’s been two weeks since Turing CEO Martin Shkreli announced he would scale back the price of his drug, and so far nothing has really changed.
The biotech leader came under fire last month for his 5,000% price hike of Daraprim, a drug that fights parasitic infections.
The drug, which rose from $US13.50 to $US750 seemingly overnight, left the biotech and pharmaceutical industries reeling, with corporations such as Valeant facing a lot of criticism for their similar price hike moves.
In September, he told ABC News, “We’ve agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit.”
That hasn’t happened yet. A 30-day, 30-pill supply of Daraprim would cost me $US27,006 at my local pharmacy.
That boils down to about $US900 a pill, which includes the wholesale cost, along with specific pharmacy fees based on the zip code I gave the pharmacy.
So while the price of the drug hasn’t gotten any higher since Shkreli hiked it up 5,000%, it hasn’t gotten any lower since he promised to reduce it either. Turing did not respond to Business Insider’s request for clarification about this price.
In comparison, cycloserine, a tuberculosis drug that the New York Times highlighted early on in the drug outrage, announced its new lowered price within a day of the Times’ Sunday article that was tweeted by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Cycloserine, which was acquired by Rodelis Therapeutics from the Purdue Research Foundation in August, jumped in price from $US500 for 30 capsules to $US10,800. After the article was published, the drug’s ownership was transferred back Purdue, and the price decreased to $US1,050 for 30 capsules. Speaking to the Times about his company’s decision to lower the price, Purdue’s president, Dan Hasler, told the Times he’d only recently learned of Rodelis’ price hike on cycloserine, and “We said this was not what we had intended.”
Turing and Shkreli haven’t exactly been silent since the price hike incident. Shkreli himself took to social media to defend his move. His company recently hired lobbyists (ostensibly to give them a hand in Congress, since Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) requested Turing provide them with information about the company by Friday, October 9). Earlier this week, the company also filed an investigational new drug application for an experimental epilepsy drug.
Let’s hope all the people who rely on Daraprim get an answer soon.