“Reprehensible” New Allegations That Former Hedge Fund Manager Shkreli Now Harming AIDS Patients With “Excessive Price” for Daraprim
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 23, 2015)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli regarding serious new allegations that his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, is “harming AIDS patients by delaying the provision of Daraprim in direct violation of federal anti-discrimination regulations.”
“Boosting corporate profits at the expense of AIDS patients is reprehensible, and we have an obligation to investigate this matter immediately,” Cummings wrote. “Over the past week, you have engaged in several defiant and arrogant interviews and Twitter exchanges regarding your decision to increase the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet overnight. But these new allegations raise serious concerns about your pricing decisions and your commitment to helping patients in need of this critical medication.”
Cummings made the request after obtaining a letter from the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors – which represents public health officials who administer state and territorial HIV and hepatitis prevention and care programs across the country – to the Office of Pharmacy Affairs within the Health Resources and Services Administration.
The letter explained that, since Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired Daraprim, several AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), which provide access to HIV-related drugs to low-income individuals with limited or no prescription drug coverage, “have experienced difficulty in acquiring Daraprim” at the price required under the 340B Drug Discount Program.
The letter explained how these actions violate federal regulations that prohibit “discouraging entities from participating in the discount program.” The non-discrimination provision “requires manufacturers to make 340B prices available to covered entities through the same distribution channels available to other purchasers.”
“Of greatest concern,” Cummings wrote, is that the letter warns that “Turing’s restrictive purchasing program for 340B covered entities has harmed patients.” For example, the letter states that “Georgia was forced to remove Daraprim from the formulary because of the excessive price. ADAP clients in Georgia who need Daraprim must access it through charity care or a patient assistance program, which can lead to delays in care that impact patient health.”
Cummings requested copies of all documents referring or relating to the company’s pricing for Daraprim under the 340B program, including but not limited to memoranda, reports, and emails among and between Turing employees by October 9, 2015.
Click here to see a copy of today’s letter.