Turing Pharmaceuticals says will cut price of drug after accused of gouging patients

Daraprim pills. (Photo: drugs.com)
Daraprim pills. (Photo: drugs.com)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The company that sparked an angry backlash after it raised the price of a drug for treating a deadly parasitic infection by more than 5,000 percent says it will roll back some of the increase.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli told ABC News on Tuesday that the new price would make Daraprim more accessible, although he did not say what the new price for the drug would be. A spokesman for Turing did not immediately respond to a request for details.

“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,” Shkreli told ABC.

The company obtained rights to sell the drug, the only U.S.-approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, in August. It hiked the price overnight from $13.50 per pill to $750.

Turing had said it would use profits to improve the drug’s formulation and develop new, better drugs for the infection. It also stressed that some patients can get financial aid from the company to obtain the drug.

But the price hike sparked outrage from medical groups representing doctors who care for patients with HIV and other infectious diseases, because Daraprim treats patients with compromised immune systems.

Hillary Rodham Clinton called Turing’s price hike “outrageous” in a tweet Monday. While campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president Tuesday, she outlined a broad plan aimed at holding down the cost of prescription drugs.

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