Painful pills

WHEN Martin Shkreli, a biotech entrepreneur (pictured), bought the American marketing rights to Daraprim, a drug that treats a parasitic infection, he probably did not expect to end up being cast as the poster-child of price-gouging. However, when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, said it would increase the price of Daraprim in America from $13.50 a pill to $750, he received a torrent of condemnation. Hillary Clinton, the Democrats’ leading presidential contender, announced plans to take on this sort of “outrageous” pricing. On September 22nd, Mr Shkreli promised to rethink the price rise. The row prompted big falls in biotechnology companies’ shares, amid worries that Mrs Clinton’s comments may herald a broad pushback against the high cost of medicines.

Mr Shkreli defended his move, saying that Turing plans to invest in research and development to improve the 62-year-old drug. Doctors expressed scepticism. Some said they needed not a better drug but a cheaper one. The medicine is used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection that is particularly dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS and some cancer…Continue reading]]>


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