Martin Shkreli-style drug price hikes are everywhere, according to an article published by CBS News.
You may recall from recent news that Martin Shkreli, the shamed CEO of
Turing Pharmaceuticals, has been up to his eyeballs in bad publicity after first
raising the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug 5,500 percent, and later being arrested for
fraud charges for allegedly running a Ponzi-like scheme to pay off investors at his
former hedge fund.
As much as Shkreli’s conduct has outraged the public, it is only
one, albeit egregious, example of what seems to be becoming a norm in
the drug industry. Since December 2014, nearly 20 name-brand prescription
drugs have at least quadrupled in price, with another 60 medications doubling
in price. While drug companies attempt to argue that increasing the price
of their medicines is necessary to fund the development of new medicines,
federal lawmakers are suggesting that these moves were designed solely
to boost profits without any changes at all to the actual product.
In addition to lining the pockets of drug companies, vulnerable people
are also falling victim to higher insurance payments and co-pays. For
example, co-pays for AIDS drug Daraprim skyrocketed to as much as $16,000
for some patients. What was once $13.50 a pill is now $750 a pill. It
joins the ranks of other exorbitantly priced medicines, including skin
medication Novacort (at a nearly 3,000 percent increase) and eczema medication
Alcortin A (at a 2,000 percent price increase). While the cost of good
health continues to rise, wages are not rising in proportion, leaving
many families to bear the financial burden.
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Medical expenses can quickly drive a family already devastated by illness
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