To me it is certainly no great surprise that a privately held pharmaceutical company such as Turing has raised its prices on Daraprim, a anti toxoplasmosis medication.This medication which treats a potentially deadly infection, is simply not available from any other company in America.
Pharmacy firms are quick to reply that the huge increases in costs for certain medications are justified because of the major investment in time and money required to develop new medications.
Yes it is true that it can take years to research and develop a new drug, only to have it denied by the FDA after studies have been completed or have it fail in the marketplace.
However, folks let’s get real here. Pharmacy companies are not hurting for funds. They spend billions of dollars, some of which is directed toward sponsored studies. These studies are often cleverly designed to end up with results the pharmacy company likes rather than results dictated only by the drug itself. Furthermore, some physicians are paid excessive fees to promote these drugs through roles as recognized experts and physicians dispensing drugs.
And Turing, just like Valeant (which jacked up the cost of Isuprel a commonly used drug in hospitals) are both peddling generic drugs. These drugs have already been researched, approved and marketed by other drug companies.
Turing and Valeant buy such companies and then hugely raise the price of certain generics. In other words Turing and Valeant do not in any way participate in the risky parts of drug development. Instead, like hedge fund managers, they bet that the product a generic drug not available from other companies will have a great enough need such that they essentially control the market for that particular medication.
Problem is that it is our health rather than their earnings that is at risk. Congressional hearings are being held about this practice.