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One of the most notorious cases of high drug prices came to light when Martin Shkreli, known as “Pharma Bro,” cranked up the cost of Duraprim, a life-saving medication, to $750 a pill.
The case drew widespread outrage, and Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, was later sentenced to seven years in prison on an unrelated securities fraud charge.
After all that, the price of Daraprim must have dropped, right?
The drug, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic infection, is still $750 a pill, even though it costs just pennies to make, according to a story in Kaiser Health News.
Daraprim is among many brand name drugs that have expired patents but no generic equivalent. That allows pharmaceutical companies to charge a premium for the medications and make a healthy profit because patients who need the medication have no alternative.
“The market sort of sets it up where, if you need it, you have to pay for it,” Joey Mattingly, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, told KHN. “A for-profit entity is going to raise the price.”
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