Tags: drug | cost | skyrocket | turing

Drug Firm's Latest Price Hike Draws Fire

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Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 03:32 PM

Turing Pharmaceuticals, a company led by Martin Shkreli, is drawing fire again for exploiting a program that awards vouchers for medications that can be sold at huge profits while pricing drugs out of patients’ reach.

The latest drug for which the company is taking heat: a treatment for Chagas. Shkreli said the price would be similar to that of hepatitis C drugs, which can cost up to nearly $100,000 for a course of treatment. But in Latin America, the Chagas drug, benznidazole, costs $50 to $100 for the typical two-month course of treatment, The New York Times reports.


 “It’s caused a lot of angst in the Chagas community,” said Dr. Sheba Meymandi, a professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, and director of a Chagas treatment center at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. “Everyone’s in an uproar.”

Shkreli has said he wants to take advantage of a federal program designed to encourage companies to develop such drugs by awarding vouchers that can be sold to other companies for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Shkreli has said he hopes to obtain such a voucher by getting the Chagas disease drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for sale in the United States. Benznidazole has never been approved for sale in the United States but is provided free to patients by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on an experimental basis.

Shkreli, 32, a former hedge fund manager, set off a furor in September after his company acquired the rights to a 62-year-old drug for toxoplasmosis, another parasitic infection, and raised its price overnight to $750 a pill from $13.50.

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Turing Pharmaceuticals is drawing fire again for exploiting a program that awards vouchers for medications that can be sold at huge profits while pricing drugs out of patients' reach.
drug, cost, skyrocket, turing
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2015-32-16
Wednesday, 16 Dec 2015 03:32 PM
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