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‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli weasels out of promise to roll back insane cost increase of pills

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The price-gouging “pharma bro” is backing out of his promise to lower the cost of Daraprim after jacking up its price by more than 5,000 percent.

Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, became known as “the most hated man on the Internet” after raising the price of the drug, which is used to treat parasitic infections, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.

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He backed down shortly after the controversy erupted and pledged to roll back the cost of the 62-year-old drug to its original price — but the company said earlier this month the price would be only modestly rolled back.

Turing announced Tuesday that the price for Daraprim would not change, after all — although the company offered to negotiate a discount of up to 50 percent with hospitals.

The company’s chief commercial officer, Nancy Retzlaff, pledged that no patient would ever be denied access to Daraprim but defended the continued price increase.

“Drug pricing is one of the most complex parts of the healthcare industry,” Retzlaff said in a statement. A drug’s list price is not the primary factor in determining patient affordability and access.”

But medical experts said the pills, even at $375 each, would be too costly for most patients.

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“A 50 percent reduction after a 5,000 percent price increase still makes this an extremely expensive drug, and still prevents most hospitals from keeping it in stock,” said Joel Gallant, of Southwest CARE Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Suffice it to say that this announcement doesn’t satisfy anyone.”

It’s not clear whether Turing will offer the hospital discount to insurers, although the company said it would provide free samples to some health-care providers and sell smaller bottles of the pills to make them more affordable.

Shkreli led a group of investors this week in buying up 70 percent of outstanding shares of the troubled biotech company KaloBios Pharmaceuticals — or, as a Dealbreaker headline announced: “Desperate pharmaceutical company hits rock bottom, names Martin Shkreli CEO.”

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Turing is currently under investigation by lawmakers for alleged price-gouging, although Shkreli has said he won’t cooperate without a subpoena.

A “real f*cking doctor” shredded Shkreli’s arguments during an online question-and-answer session after the CEO was unable to explain why the drug’s price should be dramatically increased.

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Daraprim, which is listed as an essential drug by the World Health Organization, is available in other countries for less than $1 a pill.

The pharmaceutical company Imprimis said last month that it would produce a generic alternative to the drug for $1 a pill.


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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan voters admit they want ‘this nightmare to end’ in November

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President Donald Trump's Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they'd met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn't lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

"I'm turning into more of an angry person than I've ever been in my life," she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. "I've just got a countdown to November now, and I'm hoping we'll wake up from this nightmare we're in."

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Trump abusing the intelligence community in an attempt to keep them quiet about Russia election hacks: Conservative

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The New York Times Magazine piece outlining President Donald Trump's battles with the U.S. intelligence community revealed that Russia is continuing to wage its own cyberwar against the world. According to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot, the devastating report explained the extent to which the president is ignoring the threats to the 2020 election.

“The options faced by the intelligence community during Trump’s presidency have been stark: avoid infuriating the president but compromise the agencies’ ostensible independence, or assert that independence and find yourself replaced with a more sycophantic alternative," wrote Robert Draper in his lengthy investigation into Trump's efforts to politicize international intelligence. According to Boot, the most shocking part of the investigation was that the experts in the intelligence community have been banned from speaking honestly about the Russian attacks.

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‘Incompetent moron’ Chuck Todd ripped for letting Trump official claim Democrats want more COVID-19 deaths

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"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd is under fire -- once again -- after letting Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro claim on NBC that Democrats want more Americans to die during the coronavirus pandemic to boost their chances at the polls in November.

Instead of pushing back the NBC host known for his lack of follow-up questions let the comment slide by responding, "I take your point."

Todd's failure to call out the Trump aide for what one Twitter commenter called a "disgusting" comment led to an avalanche of criticism for the MBC political director who recently saw his weekday show cut back to make room for more commentary by colleague Nicolle Wallace.

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