When you’re filthy rich you can do pretty much anything you want- including buying the rights to a vital drug and increasing its price in order to make gigantic profits out of other people’s suffering. That’s exactly what hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli has done. This 32 year-old bankster now owns Daraprim, a drug which helps critically ill HIV and cancer patients, and has just announced he will be increasing the price of each pill from $13.50 to $750. This would mean the annual cost for a typical Daraprim user would hit $336,000. Campaign group Sum Of Us report that Shkreli said of the change: “I think profits are a great thing.”
For the thousands of people who desperately need this medication to survive, this man’s pure greed could mean a death sentence. In fact, you can bookmark this article for when you need a good piece of evidence that capitalism is well and truly out of control. When the pursuit of bigger and bigger profits year on year matters (literally) more than life itself, it’s a clear sign that something is seriously wrong with the system. This isn’t democracy for the people, it’s corporatocracy against them.
Sum Of Us point out this psycho-capitalist takeover of healthcare is nothing new: ‘This is about more than just one hedge fund manager. This is a worrying new trend- corporate interests are buying up cheap, old patents and then milking patent monopolies to gouge patients. The lack of price regulation in the US and some other countries means this technically isn’t illegal. But it’s straight up exploitation of the vulnerable.’
But here’s the good news: ‘Already the massive public backlash has forced another company, Rodelis Therapeutics, to reverse an overnight price increase in an essential tuberculosis medication from $500 to $10,800.’ Shrkeli has faced the same pressure as Rodelis to U-turn on his absurd price rises, and has said he will reduce the price a little- but he hasn’t said by how much.
Please consider sharing this article if you feel strongly about this issue, and sign the campaign petition by Sum Of Us to demand Shkreli do a full U-turn on his plans, keeping the price of each pill at $13.50…which is more than enough to fuel his champagne lifestyle.
This article (A Banker Just Bought Rights To A Life-Saving Drug- And Hiked Up Its Price By 5500%) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TrueActivist.com.