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Sunday

 

These Drugs Expose the Troubling Culture of Drug Pricing: VIDEO
























A lot of attention has been devoted to the details of pharmaceutical drug pricing, after the company Turing raised the price-per-pill of a 62-year-old drug exponentially overnight, earlier this week

Martin Shkreli, the founder and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals later reversed the price hike of Daraprim, a life-saving medication used to treat weakened immune systems, but only after immense pressure spurred by caustic public feedback. After purchasing Daraprim, Turing bumped the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

Daraprim's sudden price hike was an—albeit excessive—example of a broader trend that has seen prescription drug prices increasing ahead of inflation rates in recent years.

Various states have considered legislation that would force drug manufacturers to disclose their reasons for raising prices, and some 2016 White House candidates have introduced plans to address soaring costs—this week, the Shkreli scandal proved a good springboard.

The public's disgusted reaction to Skreli's display may be one one of the biggest takeaways when it comes to reevaluating this particular branch of U.S. healthcare, encouraging an inward look at increasingly expensive, necessary, life-saving drugs. Here are some other recent examples of medication price hikes.

1 AND 2. NITROPRESS AND ISUPREL

Two drugs, one to treat high blood pressure, the other for heart problems, both saw significant increases—525 and 212 percent—after being purchased by Valeant Pharmaceuticals earlier this year.

3. CYCLOSERINE

This week, it was reported that the medication used to treat drug-resistant tuberculosis had been returned to a previous owner after the price for 30 capsules had increased by around 2,000 percent—from about $500 to $10,800 overnight. Cycloserine was acquired by Rodelis Therapeutics last month, but was returned to Chao Center. The price increase was also rescinded.

4. XYREM

The sleeping drug was acquired a decade ago by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, whose revenue from Xyrem increased by roughly $750 million since then, NBC reports. The drug's cost has reportedly increased an average of nearly 30 percent each year since 2011.

5. ACTHAR

The drug that treats spasms in infants and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis in adults was created around the same time as Daraprim, and it has also experienced significant price hikes in recent years. According to the New York Times, the Questcor company increased the drug's price in 2007 from $1,650 per vial to $23,000 overnight.

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