Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Capitalist Pigs: Making Bacon

Have you been to Miami's Design District lately? Gone are many of the actual 'designers' and in their place are big corporate design names like Cartier and Fendi. Bravo! Nobody needs a 15k watch, but if you want one and can afford one more power to you!

But when basic life essentials like medicines become fodder for the money-sucking hedge fund crowd, I take issue.

Ever since an HIV/Aids patient advocacy group began raising questions last week about why Turing Pharmaceuticals jacked up the price for a medication from $13.50 per pill to $750 overnight, anger against the company has been boiling over.

The medicine, Daraprim, which has been on the market for 62 years, is the standard of care for a food-borne illness called toxoplasmosis caused by a parasite that can severely affect those with compromised immune systems. Turing purchased the rights to the drug last month and almost immediately raised prices.

Alarmed consumers took to Reddit to call for a boycott of the company's products (with some pointing out that it's hard to boycott a drug if you'll die without it) and calling for new laws to prevent this kind of thing from happening in the future.

Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicine Association, has calculated that even patients with insurance could wind up paying $150 per pill out of pocket. "This is a tremendous increase," she told USA Today.

The New York Times reported that Alberg's group and the Infectious Diseases Society of America wrote in a joint letter to Turing earlier this month complaining that the price increase is "unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population" and "unsustainable for the health care system."
Asked how he sleeps at night Martin Shkreli had an easy to guess answer: Ambien. Yes, I suppose chemicals are the only way to subdue that much avarice.

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