NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli is taking some heat tonight for spiking the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.
“First of all, I don’t see any justification,” said East Rock Pharmacy Pharmacist Kawa Chan. “We have seen that before. This is not the first incident we have ever seen.”
Daraprim is used treat toxoplasmosis which can impact patients with severely weakened immune systems. People are at risk if they have HIV/AIDs, or are pregnant. Chan says it’s not a very popular medication, but they have seen more common medications see similar price jumps over the last two years. They include anti-seizure drugs and the popular antibiotic doxycycline. Pharmacists say it’s difficult to tell the customer.
“A lot of times it’s even embarrassing to break the news,” said Chan.
He says they work with doctors for cheaper alternatives and says for new medications high prices are understandable as they’re paying for research costs. He says to drive up costs for an old medication there would need to be an increase in raw materials or for another company to stop making it. Either way he says it doesn’t warrant the spike.
“But none of those reasons could justify that kind of percentage jump. That’s my opinion,” said Chan.
CEO Shkreli responded to criticism on twitter saying the price hike is, “A great thing for society.” His company put out a lengthy statement saying one of their goals is to improve patient outcomes through investments.
To see the company’s full statement click here.