Turing Pharmaceuticals Was Actually Kidding About Reducing Price of Drug

MSMB Capital Management CIO Martin Shkreli
LOL, jk. Photo: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Turing Pharmaceuticals, the world’s most loathed drug company, recently backtracked on their already-watered-down promise to reduce the list price of Daraprim, a drug that treats toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that targets those with weak immune systems, like HIV patients. 

The company is offering a variety of minor concessions to hospitals and patients, but the cost of the drug, which triggered widespread criticism of the company’s equally loathed CEO Martin Shkreli, will remain at its current list price of $750 per pill.

The 62-year-old drug, acquired by Turing in September, quickly became one of the most expensive AIDS-related medications on the market. In a short press conference on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Turing said, essentially, that the cost of the drug has no bearing on its price. “A drug’s list price is not the primary factor in determining patient affordability and access. A reduction in Daraprim’s list price would not translate into a benefit to patients.”

However, the company has pledged to cut the cost of the drug to hospitals and doctors. They’ve even committed to throwing in a few extra sampler packs. The compromise is baloney, some experts say, as patients will often require treatment courses that extend far beyond their hospital stay. “This is, as the saying goes, nothing more than lipstick on a pig,” AIDS-treatment advocate Tim Horn told the New York Times.

Turing Pharmaceuticals Refuses to Lower Price