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Shkreli, Turing, and PhRMA

There have been a few developments in the Turing Pharmaceuticals affair. Martin Shkreli, after given several fantastically annoying interviews, finally reversed course and said that the company will lower the price of Daraprim (pyrimethamine). He is not, at the moment, saying what the price will be lowered to: perhaps to merely ten times the previous price, instead of fifty times? A philanthropist indeed – more on this below.

And the trade group PhRMA, after a nice long conspicuous silence, issued a statement that Turing “does not represent the values of PhRMA member companies”. That’s pretty weak, but it’s definitely better than the silence-gives-consent strategy it replaced. The group went on to say that “we do not embrace either their recent actions or the conduct of their CEO”. Good! But those aren’t exactly ringing words of condemnation, either – think about it, who exactly would embrace either one, given any other options?

John Carroll of FierceBiotech (who Shkreli called a “moron” on Twitter a couple of days back, prompting me to note in return that he is, after all, an indisputable world-renowned expert on morons), has an editorial that gets to the point that many of us have been trying to make about this affair. The problem is that Shkreli and Turing are acting like evil parodies of an actual drug company, rapaciously jacking up prices while all the while justifying everything as needed for R&D expenses. The fact that Turing has been doing zero R&D gets lost in all this noise, because (to a first approximation) they sound just like every other drug company when they claim that.

It’s time for the industry to come up with a better reason for why we get up in the morning, and a more credible approach for dealing with controversies. Real innovation costs a lot of money and deserves to be well compensated. That model has created an industry which is seeing tens of billions of dollars being pumped into new product development. It has provided the world with a painless cure for hep C and huge advances in oncology in just the last few years. And much, much more.

It’s OK to do good work for money. You also don’t have to play the Good Samaritan defense in the wake of a blunder. And it shouldn’t be allowed for execs like Shkreli, who is using the country’s no-holds-barred policy on drug prices to generate some fast cash.

Exactly. PhRMA still needs to make the case for why Turing is not just some bad little company that went a little too far. As it stands, people will look at them, look at the rest of the drug industry, and then decide that the difference is one of degree, not of kind. That, though, is why I think that PhRMA (and individual companies) have been so quiet during this fiasco. They don’t like the questions that would come up. Think about it – you come out and say that a fifty-fold price increase is completely out of line, and the follow-up question is (naturally) what sorts of price increases you think are in line. And nobody wants to talk about that. You come out and say that a company that buys into an old drug that it had not the slightest part in developing shouldn’t suddenly inherit the ability to ram its price through the roof, and the follow-up question is which drugs in your own portfolio were acquired from someone else, and how you’re pricing them. Finally, you come out and say that Turing’s rationale (R&D spending) is ridiculous, and the follow-up is how much you’re spending on your own R&D and how your prices relate to that.

And no one wants to talk about that, either, except in hand-waving generalities. But we should (here are three attempts I’ve made on the topic). We really do spend a lot on it – well, those of us who are trying to discover drugs do, as opposed to the Valeants and Turings of the world. I regard Valeant and Turing as a difference of degree only, by the way. Valeant’s CEO has more sense than to try to stomp down on a fifty-fold price increase (I hope), but their attitude towards discovering their own drugs seems to be “That’s for fools”.

By wrapping ourselves in statements of purpose and noble intentions, we in the R&D-driven part of the drug industry are doing ourselves a disservice. It leaves us unable to distinguish ourselves from obnoxious parasites, outfits like Turing that can, with a straight face, recite the same rationales. We’re going to have to be more forthcoming about how much money we spend, where it goes, and display our expensive failures to make the point that a lot of money has to come in, because a lot of money is also going out. If only one out of every ten cars that Ford developed – assembly lines and all – ever made it to the showrooms, cars would be more expensive. If only one out of every ten movies – after shooting, production, and editing – ever made it to theaters, ticket prices would go up. We get one of out of every ten drugs in the clinic to market, and we’ve got to pay for it somehow. We’re in the position of Adam Smith’s butcher, brewer, and baker: people don’t expect us to provide useful drugs sheerly out of the goodness of our hearts, good though some of them may be. But they shouldn’t be expecting us to skin them alive just because we might be able to get away with it, either.

And we’ve also got to explain to people why outfits like Turing Pharmaceuticals are not the same as the rest of us. Saying that we don’t like them (which is basically all that PhRMA has said) is a tiny first step. Now we have to prove that we aren’t them.

Update: more on this problem from FiercePharma.

Second update: Turing has been kicked out of the BIO trade group, in a welcome development. 

60 comments on “Shkreli, Turing, and PhRMA”

  1. Anon

    Exactly. After all, what’s the difference between jacking up the price 50 times in one go, and increasing prices by 20-50% every year for years on end, as Pharma does?

    As far as I see, the only difference is that Pharma does the same thing, but more slowly and more sneakily, in the hope that nobody will notice…

    1. TPaul in reply to Anon

      The price before Shkreli got it was $13.50 per pill by the American distributor. CorePharma raised the price to this level from $1.00/pill in 2010 when they bought production rights fro GlaxoSmithKline, a 1350% increase. This was apparently not an issue worthy of note. Nor was the fact that GSK in 2010 was selling it, at $1.00 per pill for 50% more in the U.S. than they were in the U.K., 600% more than the Australian price, and 5000% more than the Brazilian price. So when the PhRMA says, “Turing does not represent the values of PhRMA member companies” (such as GSK), what exactly do they mean?

  2. ChristianR

    Derek, you hit the head on the nail: “They shouldn’t be expecting us to skin them alive just because we might be able to get away with it”. We in the industry do just that, quite independently of our level of R&D spending. The business logic is flawless, and so market pressures drive all companies in this direction. Turing and Valeant are not aberrant cases, but logical extremes.

  3. To me the big difference is that he is both jacking up the price while at the same time restricting access to drug in order to prevent an DESI NDA filing. I think that this is a restraint of trade which should be susceptible to federal regulation under current law – but that’s just a guess.

    Plus, and this has been said repeatedly by others, what an ASSHAT!

  4. Hap

    Fixing the loophole in FDA rules that enabled this to happen might be a start – I know that Congress and pharma probably view each other as “useful idiots”, and I don’t know how much this is going to change in an election year, but it might help, eventually.

  5. Anon

    This is a variation on an old ruse often told as a story about a girl coming home from college with bad grades and having to break the news to her parents.

    She starts be saying she has bad grades, is dropping out to live with her bf and is 3 months pregnant. Then backtracks to say she has just bad grades to the relief of the parents.

    There was probably a plan to raise the drugs by 5-10 times the amount all along and this was a muscle-flexing exercise and a marketing opportunity. And an FU to the rest of the industry,

  6. Anon

    Of course, there is another reason why Pharma keep increaasing prices, besides the fact they can. They need to in order to grow sales, given that R&D alone is failing to deliver the growth it needs. Basically, Pharma is over-charging patients to pay for the value it is now destroying with unproductive R&D.

  7. anonymous

    Good time to point out the phenotypic differences between people (in Shkrelis’ case, biped) in the Pharma/Biotech C-suites & the folks that actually do the science. Not to say there aren’t d-bags at the bench-they just tend to gravitate to the corner offices.

  8. this is a good summary of the situation

  9. MS

    Agreed. And you can take this a step further: VRX does no development, but pays others a fair price for the development they have done and then markets the drugs because they are better at it. In the live of each drug comes the point where the development is -mostly- over. At what point would that business model then be ok in your opinion so that would not be unethical, as you seem to claim? Buy a drug after P2? After P1? Should only licensing deals be ok? Or not? Can you hire a CRO to do the development for you? I agree with almost everything you say, but there seems to be some hypocrisy in this argument. I also agree that drug price increases need to be stopped, but I see no other way than what the Germans or British are doing. That will never happen in the US.

  10. DCRogers

    “Valeant’s CEO has more sense than to try to stomp down on a fifty-fold price increase (I hope), but their attitude towards discovering their own drugs seems to be “That’s for fools”.”

    How about big pharmaceutical firms who gut R&D (“bad ROI” is business-speak for “That’s for fools”) and openly state they’ll just buy the assets they’ll need to sell from others? The Turing model is hardly an aberration; it’s the destination. Difference of degree, not kind.

    (BTW is anyone else as cheezed-off as I am about usurping the name of a great man for a shake-down operation? Bah.)

    1. David in reply to DCRogers

      How long until only startups do R&D, and get bought out when the first drug is ready? And then how long after that until there’s nobody with the experience necessary to run a start-up’s R&D?

  11. I second Dale’s proposal (from the previous blog).

    This is a great opportunity for pharma to actually walk its talk about “putting the patient first”. Daraprim is easy to make/source, so why not make it available at cost? Provide a public service, while leaving tread marks on Turing, and in the process actually generate positive PR for pharma. The accountants may even know how to peg it as a tax write off.

    Among the qualities that make Shkreli a sociopath is his creepy disregard for a vulnerable patient population, while claiming to put patients first:
    “There’s no doubt, I’m a capitalist. I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company,” he said. “We’re trying to flourish, but we’re also — our first and primary stakeholders are patients, there’s no doubt about that.”

    So is there a real pharmaceutical organization willing to step up to the plate? to be a hero, rather than a villain? good business isn’t just about the money…

  12. Anon

    Can anyone explain why another company with GMP capabilities can’t just make this molecule and undercut Turing’s profits by reducing the pricing? The molecule has been around forever.

    I mean the synthesis is 4 step bucket chemistry. It could be carried out by anyone and I wouldn’t be surprised if each intermediate was crystalline.

    It seems to me that Turing was just an arbitrage play and like all arb plays they only work until the market inefficiencies are corrected. The FDA has to allow for competition in this area.

  13. Just a guy

    It really seems to come down to how much profit is enough, and I don’t know that anyone does.

    Is PFE making making $1 billion from Viagra different than Roche making that same billion from Herceptin? One treats a serious disease, and one helps stroke old men’s egos.

    It’s fine to hold one’s nose at shameless profiteers, but the difference here seems to me to be only in degree. What if Turing were to use some of its, admittedly a bit usurious, profits and ended up designing a drug to cure DMD or Alzheimer’s? Would that be better than PFE making a profit by extending Lipitor’s market exclusivity?

    The biopharma industry is a business intended to make money for its investors: nothing more, nothing less. Making drugs solely to help people is what charities do and while that’s no doubt a great reward in itself, it doesn’t pay so well.

  14. Have the leaders of ‘real’ Pharma considered how this might compromise attempts to harmonize global IP?

  15. Anon

    Shkreli’s sin is not jacking up the price per se, because a “fair price” is just what people are prepared to pay. Shkreli’s sin has more to do with illegally blocking others from competing on price. And even while I wouldn’t dare to take advantage in this way myself, I still blame the system more for allowing this to happen in the first place.

  16. Joe Pharma

    Derek, you have NO clue what R&D Turing has been conducting, which is a competitive advantage many companies covet. You might ultimately look very silly based on this post. Your company wastes hundreds of millions of dollars/year and has very little to show for it besides a marginally effective drug for a subset of CF patients.

    1. Phil in reply to Joe Pharma

      @Turding Pharmaceutical plant, Joe Pharma

      Reading patents/prescribing information/market research is not R&D.

      Derek might ultimately look silly, but you do presently.

      1. Joe Pharma in reply to Phil

        Your response makes zero sense. Turing clearly has R&D projects, as it hired a world-renowned CMO/Head of R&D in Eliseo Salinas. Private companies have ZERO reason to disclose their discovery projects, as disclosure can invite competition. The company is clearly doing R&D, and clearly raised $90M from investors who believe they’ll receive significant ROI. All of that ROI can’t possibly come from daraprim alone.

        Most of these people, including Derek, have zero clue about the pharma business. Brent Saunders did a hard switch on Namenda, forcing AD patients to move to Namenda XR so they could keep their profit stream alive. Where is the outcry?

        1. Phil in reply to Joe Pharma

          Zero sense, zero clue. Zero. You keep saying this word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

          Bee tee dubs, convincing investors that you’re going to earn ROI is not the same as earning ROI.

          Bee tee double dubs, hiring an M.D. to help you figure out which other rare indications are treated by cheap generics so you can rip off more patients does not an R&D organization make.

          Bee tee trips, I’m sorry you work for Turding and feel the need to defend it, unless you are in fact the Shkreli himself. If so, best of luck with the ongoing lawsuits and criminal investigations. Justice will be served, I’m sure.

    2. D V in reply to Joe Pharma

      Since when has opaque process equaled non-existence of process?
      Joe Pharma = Martin? or at least Turing’s shill?
      “Asshat” is correct, and may he get a shiv in his ribcage in prison.

  17. Dr. Manhattan

    One very negative aspect of the pharmaceutical profitability drive has been the abandonment of areas where work was previously done, such as antibiotic R&D. The argument that you can’t make money in antibiotics (but check out the peak sales of e.g., Zithromax, Zyvox or Unisyn) led to the almost wholesale abandonment of that field. But here is a clear and growing medical need that, with the exception of a couple of larger companies and some smaller, focused companies, still goes largely unaddressed.

    The other aspect that tends to get swept under the rug is that despite the mantra that high profits are used to fund further R&D, the numbers of actual bench level scientists who have been laid off over the past 15 years is high. These are the people who actually make the discoveries, not the guys in the corner offices. Many of these layoffs are due to mergers and are chalked up to “improved efficiency and synergy” by the suits. You take the compounds and get rid of the people who discovered and developed them. Another inconsistency in the Pharma argument.

  18. anon

    “We get one of out of every ten drugs in the clinic to market, and we’ve got to pay for it somehow. ”

    I am sorry but I am not buying this argument . Companies can easily declare how much money is invested in each drug (failure, success, takeover etc.). We can then see how much is “enough” profit. Of course, they’ll never do this.

    “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”

    There is a line between making profit and being greedy. I think there is not a single person on the board of these companies that is not greedy.

  19. biotechtoreador

    “There is a line between making profit and being greedy”

    Would you please tell me where, specifically, this line is? Is anyone who works for an evil for-profit biopharm instead of a charity greedy because they’d rather drive a new M3 instead of a 1998 Corolla? The Bible teaches that accumulation of wealth is not the way to Heaven, does that mean that everyone paid by a profit-seeking biopharm should sell their 2000+ sqf house in Belmont/Daly City/Carlsbad and move to a 600 sqf apartment in Woburn/Walnut Creek/Mira Mesa?

  20. earth23

    I think there may be some antitrust issues (i.e. competition law for the international folks) if PhRMA commented on Turing’s price increase.

  21. anon

    There are enough resources for everybody on this earth. However there are not enough resources for everybody’s greed.-Gandhi

  22. Palo

    I think, unfortunately, when we discuss the price of say, Sovaldi, the formula Success-(Costs+Failures) is harder to defend, and a little rapacious rodent like Shkreli and Turing simply appear as taking the arguments of traditional pharma to their ridiculous logical extreme, maximizing profits to a point of distaste, awful by its exaggeration rather by its essence.

  23. ab

    As much as I (and others) would like for this to come down to some simple litmus test of good (pharma) vs evil (Turing/Shkreli), it’s difficult to identify what that single test is, as alluded to in Derek’s post. But it’s worth posing some questions, the cumulative answers of which help illuminate the difference between the pharma model and the Turing model. Incidentally, I ask myself these questions all the time. I’m not an apologist for pharma, even though it’s the industry I’ve chosen to devote my career to. I’m certain many others feel the same way – if/when I stop thinking I’m doing good, I’ll leave the pharmaceutical industry. But I also recognize that all career choices come with trade offs. There is no panacea. Every choice is flawed. But I would NEVER consider working at Turing, while I’m willing to work very hard at the particular pharma company that currently employs me, because I think ultimately what I do positively impacts society. How? Consider:
    1. Does my work lead to fundamentally new knowledge? Yes. (Turing: no)
    2. Is my work likely to lead to improvements in disease treatment? Yes. (Turing: no)
    3. Is my work likely to make people’s lives better or worse? Most likely better, even if the time frame is long. But possibly worse if (for example) my industry cumulatively breaks the healthcare system in the US. This answer must constantly be re-evaluated. (Turing, likely worse; at best neutral if insurance pays and cost is spread over a large population)
    4. Is there a pathway for my discoveries, however expensive they are now, to eventually become cheap? Yes. It actually won’t be long before Sovaldi [I did NOT discover Sovaldi] is cheap. That’s kind of amazing. (Turing: no)
    5. Does my employer incur substantial risk in their investment? Yes. (Turing: some risk, but far fewer zeros in the dollar amounts)

    There are other useful questions, I’m sure. None of this is likely to make a story that reduces to a sentence or two that the general public finds compelling, and that is an unfortunate problem. People like simple yes/no right/wrong good/evil classifications. 5 questions is 4 questions too many. That’s why this situation sucks.

  24. Anon

    Price for R and D and price for manufacture should have have relevance for drug pricing but shouldn’t ultimately drive it. In field where there is a high demand for innovation and intellectual investment you always price on value. in other words what can you offer over what exists. Only a subset of specific industries price on cost of manufacturing + profit. For example if you buy a car from Toyota they don’t make the same profit % on every single car in their lineup. Therefore that’s not how they calculate the price to sell.

    Shkreli’s thing is that he’s exploiting a loophole in the market. He’s not bringing added value in the product it’s just that through some bizarre sequence of events and regulatory issues he has a monopoly and can basically charge whatever he feels like.

  25. Lowly Scientist

    The idea was to do research, find new avenues to conquer, new mountains to climb.
    -Gertrude B. Elion, Nobel laureate and inventor of pyrimethamine (Daraprim)

    Sad that Shkreli and his ilk will never appreciate this sentiment. Ms. Elion must be rolling over in her grave that this snake would co-opt her invention for such overtly sleazy, exploitative purposes.

  26. Fat Old Man

    OK, don’t get me wrong, I agree 100% with every word Derek writes. The guy is pure evil.

    But, looking at the Orange Book at the FDA website, I see no unexpired exclusivity for Daraprim (pyrimethamine). So, what is stopping any other generic firm from submitting an ANDA application, that would now have a 15 month review goal date (according to GDUFA year 3 goals)? Product development might take a year, maybe less. I assume the API already has an established process and vendor.

    So I think the remedy is already there, and if there was some way to persuade FDA to give an expedited review, the remedy would occur even faster. I wouldn’t be surprised if there already was a pending ANDA for it.

    Or maybe there is some way to define small market/low cost products and encourage development in multiple firms.

    1. Phil in reply to Fat Old Man

      Establishing bioequivalence without a sample of the “official” drug product is impossible, and Turding will not allow anyone to obtain enough of their Daraprim to use as a control in any ANDA-supporting study. This is how they prevent competition.

  27. Anonymous

    Fat old man:

    For the same reason that Shkreli has a monopoly in the first place. What company is going to invest that time just so they can go into a market and price under an existing company for a patient population that is so small? How would you even sell that approach to investors?

    The only people who would do it would do it out of spite and that leaves things like a kick starter campaign. I hope someone starts a crowd sourced campaign that does this.

  28. Anon

    The damage to the public’s perception of pharma by Turing is already apparent. From today’s Guardian – an article on the pricing of cancer drug which dedicates 2 paragraphs to Turing. Most readers will not have the expertise to make the distinction between Turing and other less rapacious companies.

  29. anon

    @ biotechtoreador
    Tell me how much you invested in a drug and then I’ll tell you how much you should sell it for. Nobody is taking your beautiful M3 away. Don’t worry.

  30. Eric

    “Shkreli’s thing is that he’s exploiting a loophole in the market. He’s not bringing added value in the product it’s just that through some bizarre sequence of events and regulatory issues he has a monopoly and can basically charge whatever he feels like.”

    I absolutely agree. You can’t have a restricted market but allow free market pricing strategies – it will inevitably lead to bad actors charging astronomical fees.

    I think this has nothing to do with Turing’s research spending, or lack thereof. That’s a red herring R&D scientists use to distance themselves from the seedier side of this industry. Every company charges what the market will bear for a new product and it has little or nothing to do with how much they spend on research.

  31. proteus

    If the pricing pressure pendulum swings, we best remember how drug shortages (e.g, N Engl J Med 2011; 365:1653-1655) can occur, resulting in oncologists having to modify dosing regimens due to rationing.
    Even if the chemistry is as simple as stated above, the ‘hassle’ of qualifying everything for cGMP is a major barrier to entry for low-margin, off-patent drugs for small patient populations.
    Altruism has its limits

  32. Joe_Canada

    Looks like Daraprim my still be sold by GSK OUS ( Perhaps CMC and bioequivalence work could be done OUS to support ANDA? Or would import/export regulatory requirements be too much of an obstacle?

    Daraprim is also listed as available from Canadian internet pharmacies for US$1.73/tablet, with GSK as the manufacturer (

  33. Anon

    It really annoys me that people think the cost of R&D should have any direct impact on drug pricing. Price is and should only be based on what people are willing to pay given the competitive dynamics of supply and demand. Nothing more. So even if it cost a trillion dollars to develop a drug that does NOT mean that should be its price, it just means that the company spent too much developing it, more than people are prepared to pay. The only (indirect) impact R&D costs have on price, is the number of competitors supplying the drug given the barriers to entry. So if R&D costs are high relative to demand then you will get fewer competitors competing on price. But that is the only relationship, and it is indirect.

  34. Moses

    Isn’t Daraprim also manufactured by GSK in the UK, for EU and RoW markets? They sold the US marketing and manufacturing rights years ago, and presumably (correct me if I’m wrong) the same formulation is still used.. Could the GSK product be used for bioequivalence study purposes?

  35. Andrew

    There’s also a theory going around that Shkreli knew damn well that this would go over like a fart in church, and is using the fracas over Daraprim pricing (and the resulting drop in biotech stocks) to make money short-selling. Either way, he’s pretty much the worst this industry has to offer.

  36. Anon

    There’s no industry apart from very few exceptions that charge based on a formula price = r and d + manufacturing + fixed % profit. It’s almost unheard of.

    Pharma charges drugs based on a number of factors including value and competitors in the marketplace. I don’t know why people want pharma to do a pricing model nobody else in any other industry follows.

  37. Daraprim from GSK is available in Canada.

    Thought that Turing had exclusive marketing rights for a couple of years under an FDA exception.

  38. Dr. Manhattan

    Now Shkreli is really in trouble. He has angered…The Donald

    “This young guy raised the price to a level that’s absolutely ridiculous, and he looks like a spoiled brat to me. You want to know the truth? He looks like a spoiled brat. And he’s a hedge-fund guy, who, as you know, the only one that I’m raising taxes on. They are going to be paying up. But I thought it was a disgusting thing, what he did. I thought it was a disgrace. I know, it’s terrible, but in particular, there’s something about that one, the way he raised it and to that extent and then he sat back smug like he was hot stuff. That guy is nothing. He’s zero. He’s nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself. And I think probably, at some point, the public is going to get him to reduce it somewhat, but I think what he did was a disgrace … I thought it was a disgrace.”

  39. Turing Pipeline:
    Come on guys, what drug company lists two 60+ year old drug in the “pipeline”? Is this some scenario where you need approval for a new form? How can I tell, what drug company puts no actual details or useful data on their pipeline page!? Here “Orphan indication” readsns “we don’t know”. How do you go through phase 2 studies yet you can’t publicize any information? That drug does not belong in a legit “pipeline”. Next, Oxytocin and Ketamine? Is this a joke? People are supposed to invest in a glorified generics manufacturer that raises the price from $13.50 to $750? How is this a successful strategy when these drugs are already generics??? Martin can flap his gums and lie all he wants to, the truth is, he hasn’t yet hired the talent to create anything or do any meaningful research and development. Until he does, investors are making a losing bet with this crew. Maybe he’ll realize that, instead of drowning his ship, he should be building it? But it just smells like another medical scheme to me.

  40. Flem

    Let’s face it, there are two separate problems that require different solutions:
    1) how to price innovative drugs? – answer TBD
    2) how to price non-innovative drugs? – answer Price controls; mandating multisourcing, and enabling importation
    If we can import phones from China why can’t we import off-patented drugs from India? The FDA should have an office in Bangalore!
    How much would it cost for the US gov’t to fund a state run generics manufacturing business, sort of like the US Postal Service?
    Aren’t medicines at least as important as mail? Fedex would be to the USPS what Pharma would be to this Generic Drug Business!
    Maybe Bernie Sanders would like that idea

  41. Thomas

    Isn’t there a company that made the drug before? They could bring it to market, as the manufacturing process there is already established if they dig up the documentation.

  42. bobthejoe

    There are a bunch of Indian generics that produce the drug but those aren’t likely to pass CMC review. However, Aspen Pharma does produce Daraphim and supplies Canada. I’m pretty sure that they should be able to have a successful ANDA

  43. The Fonze

    Derek – you have lost all credibility on this one! You have stooped to posting and tweeting clickbait, while at the same time retweeting articles that bemoan media for covering stories like Turing instead of things like Novartis offering 15 drugs for $1. You ARE the reason things like this get elevated to ridiculous status in the media. Everyone can pile on to this story and you rode the wave just like everyone else, so spare us the holier than thou attitude. Must be nice working for a non-profit

  44. non-profit researcher

    @The Fonze – did you expect Derek NOT to comment on a story of this magnitude? He comments on everything from mundane patent law to the latest clinical trials. I doubt this had anything to do with media attention or getting more visitors to this site. If you’ve read his (many) previous posts on drug pricing, I think he’s been more than fair in his assessment and there’s a clear distinction between what a leach like Shkreli is doing versus a real pharmaceutical company that, you know, actually creates drugs.

  45. I do not even understand how I finished up here, however I thought this post used to be great. I don’t understand who you are however definitely you are going to a well-known blogger for those who aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  46. Isidore

    Capitalism at work

    “Imprimis Pharmaceuticals to Make Compounded and Customizable Formulation of Pyrimethamine and Leucovorin Available for Physicians to Prescribe for their Patients as an Alternative to Daraprim®” and for $1/pill

  47. Frederico

    Why are we surprised, amazed, disgusted or complacent about what this parasitic little leach has done. This IS the down side of the much vaunted “free enterprise system”, let the market work. Unfortunately the market doesn’t work, rather it works us over time and again. If governmental forces can’t effectively address such a blatant case of unsupport

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