Martin Shkreli, the hedge fund manager turned pharmaceutical owner who planned to raise the cost of a critical HIV drug by nearly 5,000 percent, is now backing down.
Shkreli, 32, became a punching bag on social media and a target of public anger after news broke this week that his newly obtained Turing pharmaceutical company had increased the price of a drug called Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill, CNN Money reported.
"We've agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a price that is more affordable," Shkreli said this week on ABC's "World News Tonight," though he did not disclose what the new price would be, CNN Money noted.
The original price increase brought cries of price gouging from numerous corners, including from the front-runner presidential candidates of both parties, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Clinton spoke out on social media.
Trump, in his typical style, ripped Shkreli in a statement this week, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"This young guy raised the price to a level that's absolutely ridiculous, and he looks like a spoiled brat to me," Trump said in his statement. "But I thought it was a disgusting thing, what he did. I thought it was a disgrace. I know, it’s terrible, but in particular, there's something about that one, the way he raised it and to that extent and then he sat back smug like he was hot stuff. That guy is nothing. He's zero. He's nothing."
Shkreli, acting as Turing's chief executive officer, tried to defend the price increase in media interviews, but it appeared to only intensify the outrage.
In an interview with CBS News, he said: "There's no doubt, I'm a capitalist.
I'm trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company. We're trying to flourish, but we're also — our first and primary stakeholders are patients, there's no doubt about that."
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