Last month, the Internet went into full outrage mode when it learned that Turing Pharmaceuticals decided to jack up the price of an important AIDS-related drug called Daraprim from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. The company did this despite the fact that this is not a new medicine, it isn’t facing massive shortages, and it doesn’t cost anywhere close to $750 per tablet for the company to produce.
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The CEO of Turing, a sickeningly smug former hedge funder named Martin Shkreli, tried to paint this gigantic price increase as an altruistic move that would benefit patients. This only made the rest of humanity collectively gag even further and Shkreli, who has earned the nickname “Pharma Bro,” became the most hated man on the Internet, even beating out the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion.
OK, so with all that background information out of the way, it seems that a heroic rival drug company has decided to take Shkreli to the cleaners by introducing a rival drug that will cost significantly less. As Ars Technica reports, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is selling 100-pill packages of its Daraprim alternative for $99 each, which works out to just $0.99 per pill.
“While we respect Turing’s right to charge patients and insurance companies whatever it believes is appropriate, there may be more cost-effective compounded options for medications, such as Daraprim,” Imprimis CEO Mark L. Baum said in a news release announcing the drug.
At any rate, this is a very good lesson in public relations for future Ayn Randian supermen who think that the way to succeed in capitalism is to simply be as greedy and ruthless as possible: If you do things that make the entire world hate you, a competitor will find a way to exploit you. Hopefully Imprimis’s ploy works and the Pharma Bro will never think of pulling a stunt like this again.