The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Sky’s the Limit for Drug Companies

Sep 28, 2015

Overnight, Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of a drug by over 5,000 percent. This drug, Daraprim, is used to treat a parasite caused disease that affects people with compromised immune systems, like AIDS patients. This price gouging is only the latest of sky-rocketing drug prices.

Martin Shkreli, owner of this very small company based on Wall Street style speculation, justified this increase, saying, “We need to turn a profit on this drug.”

This drug was developed more than 60 years ago. Before Turing bought rights to this drug, its price had been $13.50 per pill. But this speculator increased its price to $750.00 per pill, raising the total treatment cost to $63,000. For long-term treatments, like those required for AIDS patients, the annual treatment cost can go as high as $634,000.

The pill costs about one dollar to produce. Thus, at $13.50 per pill, this drug had already been providing huge profits to its previous owner.

But for the capitalists, the sky is the only limit. Our health is no different than a piece of meat on a chopping block being sold to the highest bidder.