With Competition Killed, Drug Prices are Soaring

Martin Shkreli became the “poster child” for high drug prices this week after raising the price of a decades-old treatment almost overnight, but the data shows he is far from the only generic drug maker to quickly raise prices.

Shkreli received a massive public backlash against his attempt to increase the price of a generic version of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to more than $700. But his company Turing Pharmaceuticals, which acquired rights to the decades-old drug in August, received attention because it went too far to jack up prices, as opposed to other drug makers that raise prices more discretely, one expert said.

“The other ones are setting very high prices but not quite as outrageous,” said Gerard Anderson, professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Had he done it 10 times or 20 times [the old price] he would have probably gotten away with it.”

“He was the poster child,” Anderson said, describing the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager.