A U.S. pharmaceutical company is promising to sell for less than US$1 a capsule as an alternative to a life-saving drug that made headlines last month after its sole producer jacked up the price by more than 550 percent.
On Thursday, the San Diego-based drug company Imprimis announced that it would be selling Daraprim, used primarily to treat infections suffered by those with immune systems weakened by HIV/AIDS and pregnancy, for “as low as US$99.00 for a 100 count bottle.”
The announcement comes after The New York Times reported last month that Turing Pharmaceuticals, headed by 32-year-old Martin Shkreli, had purchased Daraprim and immediately increased the price from US$13.50 to US$750. The article noted that Shkreli had done it before, as have many other manufacturers of generic drugs in the United States.
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” Shkreli told the Times.
Most people saw it otherwise. Shkreli received a torrent of criticism on social media. U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the price hike “outrageous.” Her rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, refused Shkreli’s US$2,700 campaign donation, giving it to a health clinic instead.
On Twitter, Shkreli has remained defiant, insisting that he is not mad about all the negative publicity but actually finds it all funny.
All trolling aside, I've been inundated with support, resumes & even women who want a date. To think the whole world dislikes me is foolish.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 17, 2015
Shkreli did respond to a request for comment from teleSUR English.