Activists protest Turing Pharmaceuticals earlier this year.
After Turing Pharmaceuticals received national criticism for spiking the price of an AIDS-related drug 5,000 percent, its CEO Martin Shkreli said it would reduce the cost of the 62-year-old drug. Turns out, that’s not going to happen, reports The New York Times.
Instead, Turing will offer discounts of up to 50 percent to hospitals, where people get their first treatment. Advocates point out that those treatments last only days, while most people need to take the med for weeks or months.
“This is, as the saying goes, nothing more than lipstick on a pig,” Tim Horn, the HIV project director of Treatment Action Group, told The Times.
The med, Daraprim (pyrimethamine), is an anti-parasitic used for people with compromised immune systems. Once Turing acquired the med, it raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
In related Turing news, CNN reports that Express Scripts, a major manager of prescription drugs, said it will offer a low-cost alternative to Daraprim that is manufactured by Imprimis Pharmaceuticals for $1 a pill.
Click here to read more about Imprimis and the Turing drama.