The pharmaceutical company that hiked the price of a decades-old lifesaving drug used by AIDS and cancer patients by more than 4,000% said Tuesday it would not reduce the list price of the medicine despite the vow of a top company executive to make it more affordable.
Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, Martin Shkreli, came under fire in September when he decided to hike the price of the drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
The immediate backlash directed at Turing led Shkreli to walk back his statement two days later, promising to make the drug "more affordable."
Instead of lowering the list price of the medicine, Turing promised Tuesday to provide cost reductions to hospitals of "up to 50%," noting that most patients in need of the drug receive it there.
The company will also distribute "sample starter packages at zero cost to ensure physicians treating patients in the community have free and immediate access to start therapy in emergency situations," it said in a statement.
Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a disease commonly contracted by those with a compromised immune system.
For those who acquire Daraprim outside of hospitals, Turing said it will supply the drug to qualified uninsured patients for free. In order to qualify, a patient must be signed up for Turing's Patient Assistance Program, and demonstrate an income at or below 500% of the federal poverty level, which is $58,350 for an individual.
Turing representatives did not immediately respond to a BuzzFeed News request for additional comment on the pricing.
In October, the company submitted documents detailing revenue from Daraprim sales to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform for further investigation.
Tamerra Griffin is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based Nairobi, Kenya.
Contact Tamerra Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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