Turing Pharmaceuticals Won't Cut Price of Daraprim

By Money Times

Nov 26, 2015 08:09 PM EST

Turing Pharmaceuticals said that it won't cut the list price of the drug. However, it will negotiate discount price with hospital.

Last September, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of live-saving drugs, Daraprim by more than fifty times. Daraprim is a trade mark for Pyrimethamine, drugs used to combat parasite infection. Prior to price hike, Daraprim was sold at $13.50 a pill, but since September Turing Pharmaceuticals that obtained license for the pill sold it at $750.

Turing's CEO Martin Shkreli faced a long array of criticism, from health organizations to politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Bloomberg reported that after the critcism, Martin Shkreli said he would cut the drug's price. In an interview with ABC News on Sept. 22, he said, "We have agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a point that is more affordable,"

However, Turing suggested that it will not cut the price of drugs. Rather, it offers discount for hospitals as much as 50%. Even with that discount, it still cost a sky-high price of $375 a pill. Joel Gallant, medical director of specialty services at Santa Fe, New Mexico's Southwest CARE Center said, "A 50 percent reduction after a 5,000 percent price increase still makes this an extremely expensive drug, and still prevents most hospitals from keeping it in stock."

Turing Pharmaceuticals was founded in 2015 by Martin Shkreli, and in August it purchases the manufacturing rights to produce Daraprim from Impax Laboratories for $55 million. In the deal, Impax Labs must remove the drugs from the pharmacies to hinder generic Pyrimethamine to be produced. Earlier this month, Martin Shkreli, originally a hedge fund manager, purchased KaloBios Pharmaceuticals.

New York Post reported the price-gouging case of Daraprim has driven up KaloBios stock by 9,000%. KaloBios is a biopharmaceutical company that research in specific drugs for cancer patient. Recent notorious act and controversy by Shkreli has raised the stock of KaloBios from 44 cents on Nov. 16 to $39.50 in just a week on Monday.

Martin Shkreli is a hedge fund manager with specialty in healthcare industry. His hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management was founded in 2009 together with his partner Marek Biestek. The name MSMB was an acronym of both founder. Shkreli has a track record of notorious business practice, which started since the early days of MSMB capital and Retrophin, Inc, the biopharmaceutical company he founded in 2011. Following his ousted from Retrophin in late 2014, he founded Turing Pharmaceutical.

In regard to Daraprim price-gouging controversy, NBC News stated an interesting fact that in Europe, Pyrimethamine remains available for under $1 a pill.

Moreover, cutting 50% of a $750 price will not help patients and hospitals, nor making it affordable either.

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