Post submitted by former HRC Communications Campaign Director Brandon Lorenz
Today, HRC announced that it sent letters to three Congressional committees late yesterday seeking an investigation into recent actions by Turing Pharmaceuticals to increase the price of the drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) by 5000 percent.
The letters from HRC President Chad Griffin 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, the increased cost to federally funded health programs and a hearing on formulary and tier structure for prescription medications offered through health exchanges.
“The burden of this unjustified and unprecedented cost will undoubtedly be shouldered by the most vulnerable members of our community -- including people living with HIV and pregnant women,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “A thorough investigation is needed to ensure that irresponsible companies like Turing Pharmaceuticals are not preventing vulnerable patients from getting access to lifesaving medications.”
The letters went to Sen. Lamar Alexander, Chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Rep. Fred Upton, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce; and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings have already said they wrote letters to Turing seeking information about the price increase. Cummings is ranking member on the House Oversight Committee. Sanders is ranking member on the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.
Yesterday, HRC sent a letter to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asking him to investigate Turing Pharmaceuticals’ price gouging.
NBC News reported this week that Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said he will lower the price of Daraprim, but has not specified what the new price will be. Meanwhile, The Huffington Post reported that Shkreli is already involved in a federal criminal investigation dating back to his work with a prior biotechnology company that he founded.