The drug company Turing Pharmaceuticals is under fire after a New York Times article published Sunday detailing how it raised the price of a toxoplasmosis drug by more than 5,000 percent after acquiring the drug in August. One tablet of Daraprim used to cost $13.50; now, after its acquisition by Turing, it costs $750 per tablet.
This could have significant effects on patients’ ability to afford treatment, though Turing’s CEO Martin Shkreli has said that Daraprim will be free for anyone who can’t afford it. According to the Times, some hospitals may not be able to afford to keep the drug in stock, which could keep patients from getting treatment in a timely manner.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) wrote a letter to Turing earlier this month, asking them to reconsider the price increase.
“Under the current pricing structure, it is estimated that the annual cost of treatment for toxoplasmosis, for the pyrimethamine component alone, will be $336,000 for patients who weigh less than 60 kilograms and $634,500 for patients who weigh more than 60 kilograms,” the letter reads. “This cost is unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population in need of this medication and unsustainable for the health-care system.”