‘Most hated man in America’ raises drug prices again
Martin Shkreli, the man who caused outrage when he announced a 5,500 percent increase in the price of Daraprim medication, has set his sights on another drug to cash in on.
The pharmaceutical CEO is set to increase the price of medication used to treat Chagas disease, a parasitic disease that can lead to lethal heart problems. It is common in South America.
Shkreli has bought a majority share in KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, allowing him to apply for exclusive selling right to benzidazole. It currently costs between $50-100 for a two-month treatment.
According to the New York Times, Shkreli told investors he hopes it "would be similar to that of hepatitis C drugs, which cost $60,000 to nearly $100,000 for a course of treatment."
Shkreli hopes to take advantage of a federal program that awards companies for developing drugs.
The program hands out vouchers which can then be sold to other companies at a profit, according to the New York Times. Shkreli wants to get the voucher for getting the Chagos drug approved by the FDA. In doing so, he is failing to develop a new drug, but cashing in on a drug that is already widely used. Shkreli would have exclusive rights to the drug in the US for five years.
Shkreli increased the price of Daraprim medication, used by HIV and cancer patients from $13.50 to $700 a pill when he acquired the rights earlier this year.