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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