When Greed Takes Over Big Pharma
North Carolina was one of the seven states that sued self proclaimed “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli after his pharmaceutical company decided to raise the price of a life saving medication by 4000%. The life saving pill, which had been selling at $17.50 per pill, was
drastically jacked up to $750 a pill when Martin Shkreli’s company obtained exclusive rights to the medication. The only word that can describe such a vile act is greed. Shkreli sent out an email in 2015 proclaiming that the company will certainly have a handsome investment as a result of the price hike. What he didn’t foresee was the outcry that generated congressional hearings over the matter.
His decision left patients in need with co-pays as high as $16,000 which of course was unattainable by any standard.
The lawsuit that included North Carolina, New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia alleged that the pharmaceutical company created an environment where other companies could not compete to create a less expensive generic drug and blocked access to key ingredients.
The settlement filed the first week of December requires the pharmaceutical company to provide up to $40 million dollars in relief over 10 years to consumers who were impacted and requires them to make Daraprim available to generic competitors.
The CEO of Yyera, Kevin Mulleady (one of the companies responsible) has been banned for 7 years from working in the industry in any capacity or to face a $250,000 fine.
Shkreli is currently serving a prison term for securities fraud (unrelated) and is scheduled to go on trial regarding this greed next week.
My only question is what happened to all those people unable to afford the drug for the last 6 years?
Part of Issue 5: