Drug price increase from $13.50 to $750 brings protests: New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Summary: “Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection,” writes Andrew Pollack in The New York Times.  “The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars. ‘What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?’ said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use ‘alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy.’ Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment.” Andrew Pollack, “A Huge Overnight Increase in a Drug’s Price Raises Protests,” The New York Times.