Wow – from US$13.50 to $750.00 per tablet, how many sufferers of Aids will be able to afford this? The founder and owner of this drug is only thirty two (32) years old yet old enough to be aware of the millions of Aids sufferers globally. Irrespective of this reality he has increased the price by over 5,000% after purchasing the rights to the drug. By all accounts, he seems unwillingly to re price. So the choice maybe to take it or suffer until……………….
Are there other options to this drug? Based on the findings a few months ago by our Health Ministry, we have need for concern. You are not diagnosed with Aids today, and die tomorrow. There are persons we know who are living with Aids after continuous treatment for years and in some cases decades. Therefore the drug is a necessity for survival or to at least have a fighting chance. Again, how will Jamaica fair with such costs?
Global outrage as price for AIDS-treating tablet soars by 5,000 per cent
(Jamaica Gleaner) Tuesday | September 22, 2015
In August, Martin Shkreli, 32, founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, purchased for $55 million the rights to Daraprim — which is used to treat life-threatening parasitic infections.
Shortly thereafter, the price of the drug, which costs roughly $1 to produce, was increased to $750 per tablet.
Shkreli said he hiked the price of the pill because Turing Pharmaceuticals ‘needed to turn a profit on the drug’.
Since the announcement, people across social media have criticised the price increase, but Shkreli has backed the decision.
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Shkreli said.
He added that many patients use the drug for less than a year and that the price is on par with similar drugs that are used to treat rare diseases.
Since his company acquired the drug, Shkreli has urged the importance of improving Daraprim and said drugs need to be developed for treating neglected tropical diseases.
Shkreli said that the proceeds from the newly high-priced Daraprim will be used to research better treatments and raise awareness for toxoplasmosis, an opportunistic parasitic infection that can cause serious and life-threatening problems.
The disease primarily in babies and people with compromised immune systems, including AIDS and cancer patients.
As the drug has been passed from one pharmaceutical company to another, the price has steadily increased from US$1 to US$13.50.
But when Shkreli acquired the drug, he increased the price by almost 5,500 per cent.
Fierce Biotech editor John Carroll was one of the first people to ask Shkreli to explain why he chose to up the price.
In the heated exchange, Shkreli first said that it was ‘a great business decision that also benefits all of our stakeholders’, but didn’t provide further information.
The Health Ministry is expected to respond to the likely impact on Jamaica.