On Thursday, at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in Manhattan, Martin Shkreli said that, given the chance, not only would he raise the price of Daraprim, a drug of particular usefulness to AIDS and cancer patients, to $750 per tablet from $13.50 again, but he’d go even higher.
“I think I could have it raised it higher and made even more profit,” Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said. “I could have made more profits for our shareholders, which is my primary duty.”
“No one wants to say it, no one’s proud of it, but this is a capitalist society, capitalist system, capitalist rules,” he continued.
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline described Turing’s move as “disturbing,” saying that its sucking up resources that should be used on more innovative, new medications. GSK owns the global rights to Daraprim, but in 2009 sold the rights in the US, where its changed hands a few times before being bought by Turing.
In England, Witty said, Daraprim is being sold for $20 per month.
“We do some pretty crappy things,” Leonard S. Schleifer, CEO of Regeneron, said. But Shkreli is “not in the same business as we are.”
Say what you will about Shkreli, but at least he’s honest.