Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest advocacy group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, once again called on Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli to make good on his unfulfilled promise of Sept. 22 to lower the price on Daraprim — a crucial and often lifesaving treatment for those living with HIV — and urged officials to expeditiously investigate Turing’s reckless overnight 5,000 percent price increase.
“It has been more than two weeks since Mr. Shkreli publicly pledged to roll back his company’s unconscionable price hike on this lifesaving treatment for those with compromised immune systems — including many pregnant women and people living with HIV,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Increasing the the per-pill price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 represents the worst in predatory pricing, and we will continue to demand that Mr. Shkreli make good on his promise, and that officials address this exploitative price gouging.”
Using the hashtag #rollitback, HRC is asking its more than 1.5 million members to keep the pressure on Turing Pharmaceuticals and its CEO, Martin Shkreli, to restore the $13.50 price of the drug immediately.
Griffin in a Sept. 22 letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged him to investigate Turing Pharmaceuticals’ “irresponsible and shameless price increase” to determine whether it violates New York state law. Additionally, Griffin sent letters to the chairs of three Congressional Committees seeking an investigation into the cost of the price hike to federally-funded health programs, and its effect on patients.
The letters, to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, seek an investigation into the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals, its acquisition of Daraprim, the pricing strategy for the drug, investments made to bring the drug to market, the impact of that strategy on patient access, and the increased cost to federally funded health programs. The letters also call for a hearing on formulary and tiering structure for prescription medications offered through health exchanges.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote to Turing seeking information about the price increase. Cummings is ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Sanders is ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement Security.