Pharma-Bro Martin Shkreli Will Continue Selling Daraprim For $750 A Pill
You know, around this time of year, Thanksgiving in particular, many of us try to be a little kinder. We try to think of others. Maybe even be a little selfless.
Not so for Martin Shkreli, the creepy-ass douchebag whose company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, jacked up the price of a necessary drug used to treat HIV patients and pregnant women with parasitic infections earlier this year.
Now, after the massive backlash that came after Turing raised the price of the drug so high, Shkreli attempted to save face by promising to “modestly” lower the price of the drug. On Tuesday, the company reneged on that promise, and decided to keep the pill at $750.
The company says that Daraprim will will be available to hospitals at a discounted rate, and insists that keeping the list price at $750 will not affect patient’s out of pocket costs — the patient will be charged around $10 per pill and the insurance company will cover the rest of the cost.
They also say that they will offer the pill free of charge to “uninsured, qualified patients with demonstrated income at or below 500 percent of the federal poverty level through our Patient Assistance Program.”
I’m sorry, but this isn’t enough. If Shkreli continues his pattern of buying up patents for old drugs and raising the prices exorbitantly, which he is likely to do given that it’s working so well for him, that is going to lead to higher insurance premiums across the board for American consumers.
But the thing is, this is America. We can’t do anything about it. We don’t have any regulations for this sort of thing, and we have no bargaining power. A pharmaceutical company could decide to charge a million dollars for a lifesaving pill they have an exclusive patent on, and not only would it be legal, it would be easy to do. Our insurance companies just don’t have the same bargaining power that entire countries with single payer have.
To boot, because most other industrialized countries have single-payer insurance, American consumers must bear the burden for subsidizing the cheap cost of pharmaceuticals in places like the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Our prices are high so their’s can be low — and we’d much rather subsidize costs for all of Europe than for poor people in our own country. Otherwise, people like Martin Shkreli might not get as exorbitantly rich as they are, and that would be unAmerican.