Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Thankfully Sticks It To Martin Shkreli's Overpricing of Daraprim

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Last September, people became outraged when millionaire hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, through his ownership of Turing Pharmaceuticals, purchased exclusive domestic rights to the prescription drug Daraprim and proceeded to hike the price from $13 a tablet to an outrageous $750 per tablet. Daraprim is an antiparasitic drug used to treat patients with weakened immune systems from the dreaded infection toxoplasmosis.

By drastically raising the price, Shkreli endangered the lives of millions of patients, who could now no longer afford the crucial drug. When he openly complained that even at $750 per tablet, Daraprim was still underpriced, he proceeded to slap every patient reliant upon that drug right in the proverbial face. When the heat started to become incinerator white hot, Shkreli vowed to lower the price of the drug. Naturally, he went back on his word as Daraprim remains at the grotesque price hike he mandated last month.

However, there may be a knight in shining armor on the horizon. Seizing upon an FDA rule that allows drug companies to manufacture and distribute prescription drugs in a completely different form than the original version, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark Baum has announced that an oral capsule version of Daraprim will be available for far cheaper than Shkreli’s brand name version. Imprimis’ version will only cost $99 for a 100-capsule bottle. Contrast that to the $75,000 that a same-sized bottle of Daraprim will set people back.

To no one’s surprise, the Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve Imprimis’ version as a recommended treatment, still sticking by Turing’s grotesquely overpriced Daraprim. Of course they would side with Shkreli since the majority of seats on the FDA board are controlled by Monsanto, a chemical company comprised of like-minded, profit-hungry crooks like Shkreli.

However, doctors can get around this FDA roadblock via a loophole that grants medical experts the right to prescribe the alternate version when they deem it a viable course of treatment. Baum vows that his company’s cheaper version of Daraprim will only be the first of many such variants to hit the market in the near future. Let’s hope he can do so since far too many parasites like Shkreli are taking advantage of people in need.

A quick look at the background of Shkreli reveals a parasitic crook of dubious character and deplorable business tactics. In 2013, he was thrown out of the biotech company Retrophin, where he served as CEO, after it was discovered that he had illegally manipulated company stock and possibly embezzled company funds. He also hacked the email account of company man Timothy Pierotti, threatening to push his family into homelessness and financial ruin.

Somehow Shkreli evaded jail time and a massive $65 million lawsuit, despite being guiltier than original sin. So it should come as no surprise that Shkreli continues to abuse his financial power with no end in sight.

His actions disgusted several 2016 Democratic presidential candidates, with Hillary Clinton denouncing Shkreli on the campaign trail while Bernie Sanders actually introduced legislation to open an investigation into the dubious business practices of Shkreli. When Shkreli attempted to buy his way out of the investigation by donating several thousand dollars to Sanders’ campaign, Sanders promptly said nothing doing and donated the money to charity.

Unfortunately, the Sanders bill remains stalled in Congress and has yet to be considered for a full vote. No surprise there, especially since Congress is largely beholden to the pharmaceutical and medical industries. Few of these career politicians are willing to bite a hand that is part of one of the biggest sources of campaign money in Washington. For every Sanders willing to draw blood, there are ten Cruzes who don’t want to rock the boat since an even playing field would mean the end of financial gain for those in the pockets of the drug companies.

Parasites like Shkreli represent everything that is wrong with the medical industry at large. Cretins like him are only in it for one reason — to make maximum profits for their own personal bottom line, not to help heal the sick or perform a greater public good. To overprice a much-needed prescription drug like Daraprim to the point where it becomes out of reach for the very people who desperately need it to survive is beyond cruel and callous.

Bill Treadway is a Senior Writer for Rant, Inc. Follow him on Twitter, ‘Like’ him on Facebook or add him to your network at Google.

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