Today, at the urging of HRC, the New York attorney general has begun investigating whether Turing Pharmaceuticals, which recently imposed an unconscionable 5000 percent price hike on the life-saving drug Daraprim, may have violated antitrust laws by limiting its distribution. Chad Griffin, President of HRC, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement:
“We are thrilled that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is answering HRC’s call to get to the bottom of whether Turing and CEO Martin Shkreli violated antitrust laws by limiting distribution of a drug that is essential to the lives of medically vulnerable people, including those living with HIV, and women who are pregnant. This is a promising first step to holding Shkreli accountable for greedy price gouging, as well as his failure to live up to a recent promise to roll back the egregious price hike. We will continue to call on Turing to restore fair pricing for Darapirm, and urge our nation’s elected officials to tackle with vigor the deep problems in our nation’s drug pricing system.”
HRC has also sent 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, seeking an investigation into the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which increased the price of Daraprim overnight from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. The letters also called for an inquiry into Turing’s 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. And they requested a hearing on formulary and tiering structure for prescription medications offered through health exchanges.
Additionally, using the hashtag #rollitback, HRC is asking its more than 1.5 million members and supporters to keep the pressure on Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Shkreli, to roll back the price of the drug immediately