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Hedge funder buys rights to AIDS drug, raises price from $13.50 to $750 per pill

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LSD    0
Hedge funder buys rights to drug used by AIDS patients and raises price from $13.50 to $750 per pill

A hedge fund trader is at the centre of mounting controversy after the pharmaceutical company he bought raised overnight the cost of a life-saving treatment for people with Aids and weakened immune systems from $13.50 per pill to $750.

The 5,000 per cent increase was enacted last month for Daraprim, known generically as pyrimethamine, by Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York, a start-up firm, shortly after it bought the rights to the drug. The firm is headed by Martin Shkreli.

Daraprim fights toxoplasmosis, the second most common food-borne disease, which can easily infect people whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS, chemotherapy or pregnancy, according to the Centres for Disease Control. About 60 million people in the United States may carry the toxoplasma parasite.

Earlier this the month, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV

Medicine Association sent a joint letter to Turing calling the price increase for Daraprim “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population”.

“Please help us improve public health by immediately implementing a rational and fair pricing strategy for pyrimethamine that keeps treatment for a potentially fatal condition accessible to our patients,” the letter said.

A Turing spokesman, Craig Rothenberg, told USA Today the company was working with hospitals and providers to get every patient covered. This includes free-of-charge options for uninsured patients.

Mr Rothenberg defended Daraprim's price, saying that the company will use the money it makes from sales to further research treatments for toxoplasmosis.

“There has been no innovation in dealing with toxoplasmosis,” he said. “That has been a long neglect in the patient community.”

Daraprim, which is also used to treat malaria, was first approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 1953 and has long been made by GlaxoSmithKline.

The New York Times said Glaxo sold United States marketing rights to CorePharma in 2010. Last year, Impax Laboratories agreed to buy Core and affiliated companies for $700m. In August, Impax sold Daraprim to Turing for $55m, a deal announced the same day Turing said it had raised $90m from Mr Shkreli and other investors.

Only a few years ago, Daraprim cost only about $1 a tablet, but the drug’s price rose sharply after CorePharma acquired it.

On Monday, Mr Shkreli told Bloomberg News that firms that had previously owned the rights to the drug had been "virtually giving it away". He added: "It is still under-priced compared to its peers."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hedge-funder-buys-rights-to-drug-used-by-aids-patients-and-raises-price-from-1350-to-750-per-pill-10511690.html

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ULIZOS    0

If it's been sold since 1953, surely it's lost its exclusivity patent? Can't a generic drugs manufacturer manufacture it?

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LSD    0

NYT has a bit on that

With the price now high, other companies could conceivably make generic copies, since patents have long expired. One factor that could discourage that option is that Daraprim’s distribution is now tightly controlled, making it harder for generic companies to get the samples they need for the required testing.

The switch from drugstores to controlled distribution was made in June by Impax, not by Turing. Still, controlled distribution was a strategy Mr. Shkreli talked about at his previous company as a way to thwart generics.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html?_r=0

And this guy is seriously a piece of work :manson:

http://techcrunch.com/2015/09/21/a-750-pill-and-a-founder-who-doesnt-know-when-to-stop-tweeting/

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ULIZOS    0

The more I read about it, the more shocked and disgusted that I am. This is BASICALLY the only drug used to treat HIV positive people who become infected with a life threatening strain of toxoplasmosis.

I hate this fucking world sometimes.

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ULIZOS    0

"The cost of a monthly course for a person on 75 mg rose to about $75,000/month."

"Institutions can no longer order from their general wholesaler, but have to set up an account with the Daraprim Direct program."

I'm going to vomit

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You can tell there is something wrong with him just by looking at him. A sociopath. What a disaster.

Police Report: Pharma CEO Hacked Legal Rival and Harassed His Wife and Teenage Son For Months

“I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this.”

http://usuncut.com/class-war/pharma-ceo-hacked-legal-rival-harassed-wife-teenage-son/

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LSD    0

The way he breezes through questions about competitors making generics in that interview like "that's great! the more the merrier!" when he's doing everything in his power to prevent it from happening is chilling.

He's the type who would be able to pass a polygraph after killing someone, no problem.

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Skin    0

You can tell there is something wrong with him just by looking at him. A sociopath. What a disaster.

Sadly our society and a lot of the world rewards sociopaths.

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from Reddit;

So we just have to trust a former hedge fund manager at his word that after he cornered the market for a drug developed 60 years ago and increased its price by 5000% that his company is somehow going to ensure that the people who need and can't afford it will get it for free?

Sounds familiar, like how we just need to keep giving billionaires a bit more money before we can see some of it trickle down.

Edit: Oh, and this isn't the first time with Turing Pharmaceuticals. Martin Shkreli's done it before with a formerly owned company he started, Retrophin, using a medicine for kidney failure. Another old drug, Retrophin bought the rights to it and increased its price by 20x.

But wait, there's more! There is so, so much more.

That older company Retrophin? Shkreli doesn't own that anymore after he was kicked out by the board of directors and sued. They are alleging that he misused company assets to stave off other lawsuits. What other lawsuits? I mentioned that he was a hedge fund manager, but it turns out he actually owned a hedge fund, MSMB Capital, that specialized in short selling biotech companies, meaning he'd get paid when they'd fail. Except it was MSMB Capital that failed, and failed so spectacularly, he was accused of defrauding his investors and threatened with a hail of legal action. As if that's not enough, as far back as 2012 there were calls for the SEC to investigate MSMB Financial due to claims that this guy actively disparaged the drugs of companies he was betting against in order to manipulate the market, among other shenanigans. Since early this year it was disclosed that Shkreli is under an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

So, just to rehash: Shkreli may have manipulated markets to make money betting on failing biotech businesses with his hedge fund until it cratered so hard that he was threatened with lawsuits from investors, so he made another company in the same offices, bought and marked up a 50 year old drug 20x, and used the company assets to placate the original angry investors, only to be ousted and sued by his own company for it, then founded another pharmaceutical company that purchased another old drug and marked it up 5000%, drawing so much negative attention to himself that presidential candidates have already commented on it.

This son of a bitch would be a bond villain if he wasn't so inept.

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runa    0

I'm so ashamed of human being sometimes. What a piece of shit.

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Mr Rothenberg defended Daraprim's price, saying that the company will use the money it makes from sales to further research treatments for toxoplasmosis.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hedge-funder-buys-rights-to-drug-used-by-aids-patients-and-raises-price-from-1350-to-750-per-pill-10511690.html

Yeah right. Standard argument of every drug company worldwide. They always claim their drugs are so fucking expensive because research cost them billions and billions. Too bad there are reports how much those companies spent on developing certain drugs and how much they made. They made a pretty nice profit. Especially with all those flu drugs. Remember how everyone was scared to death because of bird flu and there were not enough drugs available. And all of a sudden, countries/governments made huge orders for their people? It made them billions!

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ULIZOS    0

Yeah right. Standard argument of every drug company worldwide. They always claim their drugs are so fucking expensive because research cost them billions and billions. Too bad there are reports how much those companies spent on developing certain drugs and how much they made. They made a pretty nice profit. Especially with all those flu drugs. Remember how everyone was scared to death because of bird flu and there were not enough drugs available. And all of a sudden, countries/governments made huge orders for their people? It made them billions!

Most (maybe all, but don't quote me on that) drug companies spend more on marketing than on research.

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ULIZOS    0

Also, I worked as a translator at Pfizer for a quick second. They've focused the last decade on buying up generic brands so as to control the market.

I translated many important documents, and the majority were about constant business acquisitions (the last one I worked on was Wyatt) and how their strategy to buy up generic brand manufacturers in Brazil was a huge success and how they were going to start implementing that strategy throughout Latin America

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Another problem are some regulations. I know that for certain drugs, like cancer medication, the prices are set. Until an improved version is released. The problem is that there is no real definition that this improvement needs to be related to the cancer therapy directly. What do the companies do? Add some vitamin C. We all know vitamin C is a good thing and therefore it someow improves the drug. Of course this drug is much more expansive. Now people will say who cares, we still have the original product, a product that worked for 20 years. Nice idea. But here comes the shady thing. The old product has been discontinued. And all of this is legal.

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VogueMusic    0

Corporate Capitalism for ya...

The whole M.O. is to suck every last penny they can out of the consumer...No matter the issue. No matter the product.

They'd charge for the air you breathe in a given space if possible.

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jacket    0

Corporate Capitalism for ya...

The whole M.O. is to suck every last penny they can out of the consumer...No matter the issue. No matter the product.

They'd charge for the air you breathe in a given space if possible.

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XXL    0

Reinvesting in research? BS. Most research is doctored anyway. They never reach any conclusion and it serves as a backbone excuse to sustain a multi billion dollar industry

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