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Thursday 24th
posted by Morning Star in World

by Our Foreign Desk

US DRUG company Turing Pharmaceuticals relented yesterday and said it would partially reverse its 5,000 per cent rise in the price of a drug for treating toxoplasmosis.

Turing boss Martin Shkreli claimed that the new price would make Daraprim more accessible, although he did not say what the new price would be.

“We’ve agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a more affordable point that allows the company to make a profit, but a very small profit,” said the hedge fund manager.

Turing bought rights to sell the drug, the only US-approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, in August and raised the price overnight from $13.50 (£8.80) to $750 (£489) per pill.

But the price rise sparked outrage from medical groups representing doctors who care for patients with HIV and other infectious diseases, because Daraprim treats patients with compromised immune systems.

Meanwhile, Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton damned Turing’s price rise as “outrageous” and outlined a broad plan aimed at holding down the cost of prescription drugs.

But her plan was scornfully dismissed by the pharmaceuticals industry, which said that the ideas had been repeatedly rejected by Congress.

The Clinton plan included a combination of proposals long pursued by Democrats, such as cheaper drug imports from abroad.

It added some newer ideas, including requiring drugmakers to invest a set portion of profits into research, rather than TV and print advertisements.

Prescription medication costs in the US grew an ­estimated 12.6 per cent last year, according to the federal government.