Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli defended raising the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750, even though it is used to treat vulnerable groups like AIDS and cancer patients.
“The drug was unprofitable at the former price,” Shkreli told CBS News correspondent Don Dahler in an interview that aired on Tuesday. “And at this price, it’s a reasonable profit, not excessive at all.”
As Dahler noted, the average cost to treat each patient increased from about $1,130 to $63,000. For some patients, the cost could be over $600,000.
“This particular drug is used by a small but vulnerable group of patients,” Dahler pointed out to Shkreli. “So you see how greedy this move looks.”
“I could see how it looks greedy,” Shkreli admitted. “But I think there’s a lot of altruistic properties to it.”
“With these new profits, we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug in my opinion,” he added.
However, Dr. David Agus, an oncologist, told CBS News that Turning was guilty of “predatory practice.”
“Patients shouldn’t be taxed and charged for future research and development,” Agus explained. “Patients should pay for the drug they are getting and what they need in the situation that they are.”
“It’s predatory practice,” he continued. “And it’s inappropriate and we have to take a stand… We as a government, as a country, as individuals, as doctors all have to get together and say we need to make pricing appropriate.”
Watch the video below from CBS’ CBS This Morning, broadcast Sept. 22, 2015.