After outrage from the public and even presidential candidates, Turing Pharmaceuticals has announced it will reduce the price of the drug whose cost had previously increased by more than 5,000 percent practically overnight.
The company’s CEO, Martin Shkreli, who has taken much of the heat, did not state how much they would decrease the cost, but told NBC News the decision would take place over the next few weeks, and would allow the company to either break even or make a lower profit.
“Yes it is absolutely a reaction” Shkreli told the Huffington Post, “there were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action. I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people,” Shkreli, 32, said.
The drug, called Daraprim, is used to help patients with weakened immune systems like those with AIDS or cancer. Its price was increased from $13.50 a pill to $750.
Shkreli was originally defensive of the backlash and stated the price hike would help patients by putting the money back into research; however, critics say the drug, which has no generic competition, is standard and has been around for 62 years.
In response to what many call price gauging by the pharmaceutical company, Hillary Clinton announced on Tuesday she would unveil a plan to cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for drugs like Daraprim. The announcement sent the Nasdaq Biotech Index down 4 percent.
Turing Pharmaceuticals was a startup founded by Shkreli, who spend most of his career as a hedge fund manager, and isn’t new to controversy. He is currently under criminal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Newsweek, the investigation “involves such a vast number of suspected crimes it is difficult to know where to start.”