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WATCH: Ex-hedge funder who hiked AIDS pill cost by 5,500 percent says drug ‘still underpriced’

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Appearing on Bloomberg TV, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company that recently hiked the price of a drug used for critically ill infants and AIDS patients by 5,500 percent , defended the price increase by promising better things to come for future patients.

Martin Shkreli, 32, the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, recently purchased the rights to Daraprim and immediately increased the cost from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

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Asked why the huge increase in cost, Shkreli explained that the old companies who owned the drug were “practically giving it away almost,” and he needs to turn a profit.

Noting that the pill sold for $13.50 and the course of treatment “to save your life was only a $1,000,” Shrkeli said he had to make a change.

“We know, these days, in modern pharmaceuticals, cancer drugs can cost $100,000 or more, whereas these drugs can cost a half of a million dollars,” he explained. “Daraprim is still under-priced relative to its peers.”

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Asked if the pill really only costs $1 to manufacture, Shkreli agreed and said, “It costs very little to make Daraprim.”

Shkreli then listed off manufacturing, distribution, and FDA costs as well as paying the people “who make it to specifications.”

Pressed even further on the $750 cost per pill, the CEO defended the price by noting how much it brought into the pharmaceutical company annually.

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“This drug was making $5 million in revenue,” he said with a smile. “And I don’t think you can find a drug company on this planet that can make money on $5 million in revenue.”

Shkreli stated that the drug is made for a “very very tough disease.”

“It requires a lot of attention and focus. The drug company needs to partner with the patients and make sure that it’s a very cared for community. And that costs a lot of money too,” pointing out that the company also “gives away” the drug for $1 for those who can’t afford it.

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Shkreli added: “Patients now have a powerful ally in our company.”

Watch video below from Bloomberg TV:

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Hypocritical’ Republicans busted for disappearing now that Trump has exploded the deficit

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In a "Reality Check" segment on CNN on Thursday morning, contributor John Avlon called out GOP fiscal hawks who have suddenly disappeared from the public square now that a Republican president has exploded the national debt.

Introduced by host John Berman, who asked, "This morning new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirm it: The national debt and deficit are much worse than thought. So where is the party of fiscal responsibility in times like these?" Avlon broke it down.

"While President Trump was busy proclaiming himself 'the chosen one,' you might have missed more bad news in the form of data," Avlon smirked. "Brand new CBO numbers shows the budget deficit is skyrocketing, projected to rise 25 percent over last year and heading to over $1 trillion next year. Tax revenues are $430 billion below where they were expected to be before the Trump tax cuts while spending in is in drunken sailor territory adding $1.7 trillion in the next decade."

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Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) told CNN's John Berman that President Donald Trump's mental health should be a cause of deep concern for all Americans.

In particular, Deutch pointed to Trump's string of strange statements on Wednesday, in which he favorably quoted someone who called him "The Second Coming of God" and then flat-out referred to himself as "The Chosen One."

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Tea Party ex-lawmaker admits he was wrong about Obama — calls him a much better president than Trump

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Sidestepping questions over whether he will primary Donald Trump, former Tea Party Republican lawmaker Joe Walsh launched a brutal attack on the president comparing him unfavorably to one of his previous foes: President Barack Obama.

Speaking with CNN hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, the former Illinois congressman refused to commit to running but sketched out what any GOP candidates running against the embattled president must do to have a chance to rally disaffected Republican voters.

"I think we overanalyze Trump, "Walsh began. "He's not complicated, he's a horrible human being. He's a bad, bad guy."

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