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This Pharmaceutical Czar Promised To Lower The Price Of A Lifesaving AIDS Drug — But Nothing’s Changed

Two weeks later, Martin Shkreli still hasn't followed through with making Daraprim more affordable.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli has been called “the most hated man in America” and was even skewered on “Saturday Night Live” last week for being a “twerp.” That’s because, in September, his company purchased a cheap drug called Daraprim and hiked up its price by 5,000% (no, that’s not an exaggerated number).

So why the outrage? Daraprim is the only FDA-approved drug that’s used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection that can kill people with compromised immune systems, including cancer and AIDS patients. In other words, it’s a medication that can save people’s lives — but, practically overnight, Shkreli raised its price from $13.50 per pill to a whopping $750.

Shkreli initially defended his decision by insisting the profits will fund research for new drugs, but he later backpedaled and promised to lower the price of the drug. “We’ve agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit,” he told ABC News.

However, the deadline has now passed and Tech Insider reports the drug is still retailing at up to $900 per pill, depending on patients’ locations. Two weeks after saying he’d drop the price, there’s no sign of change and no indication that Shkreli will follow through on his promise.

On Wednesday (Oct. 7), the Human Rights Campaign again asked Shkreli to lower the price of Daraprim, but as of Thursday night, there has been no change. Shkreli has not commented, nor has Turing Pharmaceuticals responded to Tech Insider’s request for an update.