Pharmaceutical CEO and former hedge funder Martin Shkreli made headlines when, overnight, he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug heavily needed by many AIDS and cancer patients and others to treat toxoplasmosis, 5,000 percent, inflating the cost from $13.50 a tablet to $750. Shkreli has appeared repeatedly on television attempting to justify raising the price of a drug that has been on the market for more than a half-century, even claiming that the drug is “still underpriced” because “we needed to, us, turn a profit on the drug.”
Though Shkreli has promised to lower the price to an unspecified amount at an unspecified point in the future — a promise he has not made good on — the public shockingly remains angry with him. Senator Bernie Sanders has announced an investigation into pricing practices in the industry, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton caused biotech stocks to tank after she announced a plan to prevent pharmaceutical companies from taking advantage of consumers. One company that has not been able to overcome the fear of regulation is Shkreli’s own Turing Pharmaceuticals.
While Shkreli is unapologetic, BusinessWire reports that Karma cares a bit more than he does. Shkeli’s company reported a loss of $14.5 million in the past three months alone.
Turing’s financial report showed $5.6 million in revenue from Daraprim and Vecamyl sales, as well as nearly $7 million in research spending, mostly on a PTSD drug and a treatment for epilepsy — not on advancing treatment for Toxoplasmosis patients as he has previously claimed while attempting to justify the Daraprim price increase.
“Our Research and Development organization, led by Dr. Eliseo Salinas, has surpassed my expectations in advancing TUR-004 for epileptic encephalopathies and TUR-002 for depression with the FDA,” Shkreli said recently. “We are very excited about the potential for Turing’s pipeline of new drug candidates to help patients in need of better medications.” The Turing CEO says that 60 percent of revenue going forward will be dedicated to research.
Featured Image via The Independent