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Pharmaceutical CEO: $750 is a ‘more appropriate’ price for $13 AIDS medicine

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Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli (CNBC/screen grab)

In a defiant CNBC interview on Monday, Turning Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli defended his decision to raise the price of the AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.

Shkreli asserted that the price hike was needed to fund the development of a better HIV drug, even though experts had told CNBC reporter Meg Tirrell that a new drug was unnecessary.

“What a lot of companies do is raise venture capital funding when they see an important market for a drug rather than raising the price on the current patients who need it to survive and who have no other choice but to take it and pay the higher price,” Tirrell pointed out. “Why wouldn’t you go that route?”

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Shkreli said that the company had raised $90 million, but “we also feel that this is the more appropriate price for Daraprim.”

“At this price, Daraprim is still on the low end of what drugs costs,” he explained. “And we’re certainly not the first company to raise drug prices.”

“Turing is a very small company, it’s a new company and we’re not a profitable company,” the CEO added. “So for us to try to exist and maintain a profit, I think is pretty reasonable.”

CNBC host Brian Sullivan reminded Shkreli that Daraprim had initially been a $1 drug.

“When you bought this company did you buy it because you knew you could raise the price?” Sullivan asked.

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“We definitely planned on raising the price, that’s for sure,” Shkreli admitted. “We’ve took it to a price where we can make a comfortable profit, but not any kind of ridiculous profit.”

Tirrell concluded by asking if Shkreli would consider lowering the price because “doctors and patient groups are saying they can’t access this drug.”

Shkreli responded with one word: “No.”

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Watch the video below from CNBC’s Power Lunch, broadcast Sept. 21, 2015.

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2020 Election

Fox News report crushes Hunter Biden smear after network investigation ‘found no role for Joe Biden’

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A Fox News investigation "found no role for Joe Biden" in the business dealing of his son, Hunter, the network said on Sunday.

The admission was made by Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins.

Jenkins explained that the news organization had been provided documents by Tony Bobulinski, Hunter Biden's former business partner.

"You're talking about a business venture with the Chinese energy company in 2017 at a time when Joe Biden was not vice president," Jenkins explained. "But Fox's review of Bobulinski's documents, which were given to us, found no role for Joe Biden in that business venture."

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2020 Election

Trump voter tells CBS she doesn’t wear a mask because ‘teeny-tiny’ virus is ‘so small’

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A voter who supports President Donald Trump's handling of COVID-19 told CBS News on Sunday that she does not wear a mask because the virus is too small.

During a panel discussion with voters on Face the Nation, host Margaret Brennan asked which panelist wore face masks.

"Beth, you don't wear a mask?" Brennan asked one of the voters.

"I do when I'm in public spaces where they insist that you do," Beth replied. "But otherwise, no."

"And so when you hear the statistics that are rattled off by the CDC director, you hear Dr. Fauci say wearing a mask could really stop the spread, why do you doubt that?" Brennan pressed.

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2020 Election

‘Rudy is just a moron’: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen drops the mic on Giuliani’s very bad week

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Appearing on MSNBC with host Maria Teresa Kumar, former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen was asked what ex-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is doing for Donald Trump's re-election bid, with the former Trump lawyer brutally dismissing Giuliani as both a "liability" and a "moron."

In a week that saw Giuliani's attempt to smear Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden fall apart before moving on to a cameo appearance in a Borat film that caught him in a compromising position with an actress playing a teen reporter, Cohen laughed at the week's events.

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