Ex-Hedge Funder Buys Rights To AIDS Drug, Raises Price 5,455 Percent

21drugpricespix-popupMeet Martin Shkreli. The 32-year-old entrepreneur recently left his job as a hedge fund manager to start his own pharmaceutical company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Related: Can We Blame Wall Street For All the AIDS Patients Now On Waiting Lists?

One of the first things Shkreli did after launching his company was acquire the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat life-threatening parasitic infections in people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS patients.

Shkreli immediately jacked up the price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet, which is an overnight price increase of nearly 5,500 percent.

As a result of the increase, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association issued a joint letter to Turing calling the drug’s new price “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.”

Related: Price Gouging Pharma CEO Can’t Seem To Handle The Entire Internet Hating Him After All

Dr. Aberg of Mount Sinai told the New York Times that some hospitals will likely find Daraprim too expensive to stock, resulting in treatment delays.

“This seems to be all profit-driven for somebody,” she said, calling Shkreli’s move “very dangerous.”

But don’t except any apologies from Shkreli. He scoffed as accusations of being greedy or trying to profit off the sick and dying, accusing people of “concocting this wild and crazy and unlikely story to swindle me out of the money.”

“It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this,” he told the New York Times. “This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients. It is us trying to stay in business.”

Turing’s price increase could potentially make his company hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Related: Hilary Clinton Calls For “AIDS-Free Generation” In NIH Speech

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