Anonymous Trolls Big Pharma CEO Who Raised Drug Price 5,500%
Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, has been the center of the Internet vitriol over the past few days after raising the price of a 62-year-old drug 5,500%. Anonymous joined in on the action yesterday, effectively trolling the CEO, who later in the day announced his company would backtrack on the price increase.
The CEO defended himself by saying the move has been misunderstood. Daraprim, he’s maintained, was unprofitable and therefore his company increased the price. The drug is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a life-threatening parasitic infection.
“Our first and primary stakeholder is patients. There’s no doubt about that,” Shkreli told CBS. The price of the drug was so low that “any company selling it would be losing money” The new price meant “a reasonable profit, not excessive at all.” Ultimately, he conceded that the company failed making people understand their vision.
“I can see how it looks greedy, but I think there’s a lot of altruistic properties to it,” he added, pointing out research and development opportunities the new price would enable. Shkreli seems to imply no patients will lose access to the drug.
“No,” Shkreli said. “In fact, we’re increasing access to patients. … We’re dramatically increasing the access to Daraprim, lowering co-pays, giving away more drug for free. Half of the drug we give away is for $1. So I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Anonymous is a decentralized hacktivist group that became well-known after several high profile hacks. For more, click here.
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