Published October 29th, 2015 by Stephanie
Recently, the company Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of Daraprim, the only medication which is approved in the US for treating toxoplasmosis, a disease associated with AIDS and certain kinds of cancer. This price boost took Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750, an increase of roughly 5500 percent.
Turing’s CEO, Martin Shkreli, defended this extreme cost hike as a necessary means to pay for research to find other ways to treat toxoplasmosis, but at the same time he is limiting distribution to specialty pharmacies which will prevent generic drug producers from getting the samples they need to produce low-cost alternatives. This move is so anti-competitive that it’s drawing the attention of New York State’s antitrust bureau. Shkreli has also promised to drop the price soon, but he has yet to do so.
If his work history is any indication, it’s unlikely that Shkreli’s true motivations are actually altruistic. The last drug company he founded, Retophin, made its profits by purchasing the rights to uncommon drugs and boosting their prices. This company also happened to force him out, and it’s currently suing him for using its profits to enrich himself and pay off the investors of a previous failed enterprise.
Shkreli’s actions have raised more than a few eyebrows thanks to how blatant they appear to be, but they also put a spotlight on the seemingly arbitrary medication costs which have been breaking all kinds of records in recent years. In virtually every case, pharmaceutical companies have claimed that these prices are necessary to pay for the research and development which new drugs demand.
However, the large companies rarely develop their own drugs. Instead, they purchase smaller research companies to acquire the rights to an already proven new drug. And if their record profits are to be believed, these companies aren’t using all of their drug revenue to fund these mergers, either.
While insurance companies may be able to bargain the price of drugs down from their sticker price, the bargains still leave the pharmaceutical companies with more than enough profit and it leaves the 32 million uninsured Americans in the lurch. Fortunately, there’s a way for even those without any insurance to mitigate the pain of specialty drug prices: the USA Rx discount pharmacy card. Our discount is good in over 60,000 pharmacies across the nation and it applies no matter what state your health insurance is in. To find out more, you can send us an email at [email protected] or call our toll-free number at 888-277-3911.