Ethical Discussions: The ethics of drug pricing

In August, Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to the drug Daraprim from Impax Laboratories, Inc. This drug is the standard drug used to treat a parasitic infection, toxoplasmosis, which can be life threatening for people with compromised immune systems, such as AIDS and cancer patients.

After acquiring the rights to Daraprim, Martin Shkreli, the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet, an increase of almost 5,000 percent.

Immediately, infectious disease specialists protested this dramatic overnight increase in price. Doctors were concerned that the expense of the drug would force hospitals to use other treatments which would not be as effective.

This is not a new drug; the drug has been available for 62 years. What caused this dramatic increase in price? In some cases, when there is a shortage of a particular drug, price increases will result. However, in other cases, the increase in price is due to a strategy of companies which buy the rights to older drugs and turn them into a “specialty” drug. This is not an uncommon strategy.

Martin Shkreli, the founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, is a former hedge-fund manager. In an interview with CBS new, he defended the company’s actions, explaining that he is a capitalist and stating “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company. We’re trying to flourish.”

After the protests against the dramatic increase in the price of Daraprim hit the news media, Martin Shkreli announced that he would reduce the price of the drug from $750 per pill However, he did not state at what new price the drug would be offered, nor when the price reduction would take place. To date, the company has not yet lowered the price of the drug.

The New York Times has reported that the New York attorney general has begun an inquiry into Turing Pharmaceuticals. The inquiry is not based on the price increase itself. The attorney general is looking into whether Turing has violated antitrust rules by attempting to restrict competition by taking the drug off the regular distribution channels. This would make it much harder for companies which make generics of drugs to acquire a sample of Daraprim, thus preventing the generic companies from copying the drug and making new generic versions of Daraprim.

The current debate about the topic of Turing’s actions includes those who advocate government regulation of pharmaceutical drug pricing. Would this be taking government involvement too far? Would this reduce the incentive for pharmaceutical companies to spend money on new drug development?

Should pharmaceutical drug pricing be regulated by the government? Assuming that Turing Pharmaceuticals did not in fact violate any antitrust laws and simply raised the price of Daraprim, is this unethical?



68 thoughts on “Ethical Discussions: The ethics of drug pricing

  1. If Martin Shkreli has violated any antitrust law by raising the price of Daraprim is not the issue, nor does Turing Pharmaceuticals wishing to grow as a company? The Ethical issue is that the founder of a Pharmaceutical company would rather cause millions of deaths in order to raise a profit of “five thousand.” Martin Shkreli and any others supporting Turing Pharmaceuticals are egoist. “They” are willing and effectively causing many deaths, possible bankruptcy, and financial annihilation to those already financially instable due to their medical condition. Quoting from the blog, “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful company, a profitable drug company. We are trying to flourish.” (Shkreli, CBS interview) Daraprim is already a stable, well managed known and affective drug, there is no need for concern from the new rights owners of Daraprim.
    The previous owners, Impax Laboratories, must have been Act utilitarian’s. For sixty-two years, those infected and diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, Aids, and cancer had a better shot in fighting the disease. Impax Laboratories caused the greatest possible good for the greatest possible number of people. I ask myself why did they sell the rights to Daraprim? And were they aware of the seven hundred thirty six dollars and fifty cent increase market price for the medication?
    Should pharmaceutical drug pricing be regulated by the government? I would love to say yes, but is the capitol still really in the best interest of the people? Has our nation not turned into a conducting system of egoist? Given the opportunity, would the government regulate fair prices or swarm in for a chunk for themselves?

  2. Raising the price of the drug was unethical. The chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, even said that they raised the price to make the company successful and profitable. The company didn’t car that raising the price might cause hospitals to use other treatments. Even if these treatments weren’t as effective as Daraprim. The company is being egotistical by doing this for it’s own self-interest at the expense of the well being of others. Now that the price has been raised, some people who depend on the drug might not be able to afford it. I know that if I was using a drug that was $13.50 a tablet and the price got raised to $750 a tablet, I would no longer be able to buy it. Having the price at $750 is absurd. There are very few people who can afford this price.
    I believe that the government should regulate pharmaceutical drug pricing. If the government regulated the price, they would be able to keep the prices at a low/ fair price. It would help many people who don’t have the money to buy expensive medicine. I believe that if the government regulates pharmaceutical drug pricing it will bring more happiness to more people. It may anger the big drug companies that make a lot of money off of their drugs, but all of the people who rely on expensive drugs would be happy. If the government regulates pharmaceutical drug pricing, it would keep drug companies from making their key focus on profits. They might actually focus on creating new and better drugs for people to use.

  3. The Ethics of Drug Pricing
    Tim Keusch

    In the article, The Ethics of Drug Pricing, the main topic was government involvement in the establishment of the pricing of drugs. The example that was given involved a company called Turing Pharmaceuticals. Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to Daraprim from Impax Laboratories Inc. The drug is commonly used in the treatment of patients with cancer and AIDS. Upon the purchase of the drug, Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill, a 5000% increase.
    After such an enormous increase in price, the company came under fire for a multitude of reasons. Many people thought that the company was unethical because they are trying to make so much money off of people who are in dire need of the drug they possess. The company, and more specifically the CEO, was called greedy for such an increase. The CEO defended his actions by saying he was trying to build his business into a bigger company.
    The ethical problem I see is that he works for a pharmaceutical company that should be trying to help people. Unlike other businesses, pharmaceutical companies provide drugs that are necessary for survival. Their main focus should be developing drugs to treat deadly diseases, and offering them at legitimate prices. Even if the company did not violate any antitrust laws, the price of any drug should never be raised such a ridiculous amount in one shot. I would suggest that a drugs’ cost be based on what it costs to produce plus a small percentage, so the company can make some money. In a perfect world, the government should be responsible for setting the drug prices. However, this would be a “hard sell” for some of the general public that does not trust the government.

  4. When it comes to pharmaceutical drugs I do feel that there should be a higher power that regulates the cost of the drugs that the vast population can use in order to receive adequate treatment. I think that the company “Turing Pharmaceuticals” is making the wrong choice in there decision to increase there cost of the pill that I’m sure they are aware of, could potentially save many lives. The increase of the drug I feel would not help the company in the long run because people need prescritption drugs that they can afford, which leaves many without a prescritption or having to pay large sums of money for drugs that they simply cannot afford. I think that not only was the increase unethical, but so was the idea that they put forth of possibly lowering the drug cost and then not doing so. I think that all drug companies should consider the ethical problems that they could potentially face when coming up with ideas to increasing their drugs to numbers that the general public cannot afford. The drug Daraprim had s significant increase in number making it almost impossible to afford for not only the general public but also hospital personnel that used the drug within their facility. After viewing the numbers of the increase of the before and after pricing I have come to the conclusion that drug pricing should be regulated by the government or a third party that can legally investigate the issues of increasing drug prices to non-affordable prices.

  5. I think that pharmaceutical drug pricing should be regulated by the government. The government needs to be more involved when it come to this problem. There should be a limit to what a business like the Turing Pharmaceuticals can sell their drugs for. The prices that are put on by this business for the Daraprim drug which the price was 13.50 dollars for a tablet and for the price to grow to 750 dollars for a tablet is not right. The founder and chief executive for this Pharmaceutical company Martin Shkreli did not provide an explanation to why the price increased almost 5,000 percent. The government should step in and help the people. It is very wrong and unethical what the Turin Pharmaceuticals did. Raising the prices on a drug that is extremely needed can have very bad effects. This effects the hospitals just like it was stated in the article because they would give treatments that are not as effective, but most importantly this would effect peoples lives. People rely on this drug to live and some of the people who need the Daraprim drug won’t be able to buy it because it costs more money now. The government has to step in and help the people and not just let a business determine other peoples health. For the founder of the Turing Pharmaceuticals the main objective for him is for his company to grow, but when it comes to dealing with human lives the government’s objective should be to save people. The government should not give this much control to this business. The main objective should be how to save peoples lives and make them better not how to make more money.

  6. Government involvement should depend on the matter at hand. I don’t believe that the government should be involved in everything. However in regulating medication prices I believe it is only fair that they do get involved. The article discusses a pharmaceutical company being bought out and therefore in turn, the price for the Daraprim medication skyrocketed. It is extremely unethical and just plain wrong for a company to charge $750 for a single tablet which once cost a mere $13.50. In what kind of world is that right? Is it ethically acceptable for the company to raise the price of the medication?

    I’m thinking that the company was just money hungry. But, when raising the price for medications, a lot has to be taken into consideration. Imagine for instance the patients who were dependent on Daraprim, now suddenly can’t afford it. Should they have to worry about financial problems that may or may not have been present before or be responsible for finding a different medication? My answer to this is absolutely not. It was unethical for the company to raise the medication’s price in the first place, especially so drastically. This is a prime example where I believe that government involvement should be necessary. The government should be responsible for maintaining the prices of medications to an extent.

    Lastly, I’d like to make it a point that even if the company didn’t violate antitrust laws and just raised the price of the medication it would still be considered unethical to me. The company is exploiting several different stakeholders, including doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and patients themselves. I genuinely feel as if the company just wants to make more money for itself and it also shows that they could care less about who will be impacted by the increase in price. Before any decision is to be made, I believe that all stakeholders should be considered and that the best possible outcome for all is preformed.

  7. The government certainly should regulate pharmaceutical drug pricing. Pharmaceutical companies have been preying on American citizens since their conception. Exorbitant prices render citizens helpless at times of great need. Whether any antitrust laws were violated, Turing Pharmaceuticals has acted unethically by restricting public access to a previously accessible drug. If drug pricing were regulated by the government this would ensure that all American citizens have access to the medication they need. This also prevents pharmaceutical companies from putting a specific drug in a stranglehold, and monopolizing a form of medication that should otherwise be a basic human right. Countless other countries have adopted universal healthcare and that includes pharmaceutical distribution. It is utterly ridiculous that the United States has such a large population of impoverished citizens, while employing capitalist values within its healthcare system. Yet, just across the pond, where the minimum wage in Sweden is $19 an hour and the percentage of poverty is almost nonexistent, there are human beings receiving the same drugs as a basic human right. American citizens attribute universal healthcare to socialist values, which is outrageous to the bleeding heart patriot. I believe that healthcare should not be encased by political red tape and profit-seeking business sharks. There are two obvious ways to improve the quality of a country’s citizenry: Education and Health. Norse and other countries have provided us evidence of this. Despite high tax rates, the result is a healthy, educated, and happy citizenry. Turing Pharmaceuticals is propagating the capitalist predator that has rendered adequate healthcare inaccessible for our fellow citizens.

  8. Government should be informed about this issue. They need to make sure this drug is being passed onto whoever needs it. I believe the government needs to settle on price for the drug, so that others can buy it. It is legal to have the owners pick their price on a product, but is it right to bring price up on common medicine that can save lives. Ethics is larger than life definition would say that this issue is not right. If the drug is too expensive and is not available in most places; people will not have opportunity to get better. Raising the price for your benefit is completely selfish. The Turing pharmaceutical company is being egoism and only thinking of their profit. It is unethical to raise the prices because it goes against the act utilitarianism theory. Everyone would not be happy because people cannot afford the drug and people could die if they do not have it. The best solution is to lower the price and allow other business to buy it; this option could make everyone happy in the end. I think the company should really think this through and try to be a Deontology about it. The company needs do the right thing regardless of outcome or how much money they can make. The government should setup a conference or a meeting to deal with this issue. It is the government moral duty to act in the best interest of the people and make sure the price does go down. I hope the boss does bring the price down like he promised; this problem definitely needs to be addressed.

  9. The government should not regulate the price of medications that are developed and owned by private companies. Turing Pharmaceuticals is a private company and they have the right to charge whatever price they wish.

    The generic drug companies would have had approximately 40 years to acquire and develop a generic version of Daraprim. These companies are not able to procure it through normal channels at this time, but there should be a way to purchase it from a health care provider that has some in stock. The generic version of Daraprim may not have been created because of the original low price of the drug and it may not have been profitable.

    If the government were to regulate drug pricing, there would not be an incentive to develop new drugs. It is very expensive to develop and test new medications. A large portion of the consumer price for a drug is based on this and not the actual manufacturing costs. The drug companies need to be able to recoup these development costs and to make a profit that the companies will be able to use for future drug development.

    It is unethical for Turing Pharmaceuticals to raise the price of Daraprim as dramatically as they did. It appears, based on the quoted statement of Martin Shkreli, that the price was raised only for profit so that his company would be able to gain more capital in order to expand and purchase other medicines. In the short term this has the potential to harm people that may need this medication.

    Bureaucrats in the government should not regulate pricing or distribution. They should regulate safety of medications.

  10. Raising the price of the drug is definitely the ethical issue. The company didn’t care that raising the price might cause hospitals to use other less effective treatments and might even cause unneccary deaths. The company only cared about making profit from this drug. The Chief executive said himself that they raised the drug to make the company more profitable. The company is only thinking about its needs to make more money in any way possible rather than helping the intended patients. Now that the price has been raised people will not be able to afford the drug and insurance companies will not help get the pills for the patient. Having the price at $750 a tablet is downright wrong. The amount of people that would and could afford this pill is slim to none.
    I would think that the attorney general should have no problem finding that the company violated anti-trust rules. If the government doesn’t regulate the pricing, I think that pharmaceutical companies should have a board to answer to when wanting to increase prices of any and all drugs. If there was someone for these companies to answer to then it would be hard for companies to raise prices at a ridicules “5 thousand percent” just to make profit. Companies have had no problem spending money for new drugs before, why would a more regulated system stop them now? I’m sure with the system being more regulated there would be more hoops to cross; however, regulations can help not only companies stay trustworthy but also keep patients getting the drugs they need.

  11. Martin Shkreli is a true definition of what an egoist, ” I’m trying to make a profit.” Daraprim, a drug as the articles states “that has been around for 62 years,” went overnight from costing $13.50 to $750 a tablet is obscene. There was no shortage of this drug, it’s given to NEWBORN babies and AIDS patients suffering from an infectious auto-immune disease. These poor sick babies I mean how can this guy sleep at night? This is the first drug that it given, the first method of treatment. I watched a couple interviews that Martin did, and he made a point that this drug was not making a profit and that it cost only $1000 based on the amount a patient needed of this drug to save their life. Martin says that is too LOW. He estimates it should cost more than that to save a life. Up to a hundred thousand dollars is a reasonable estimate to save a life he says!! Martin Shkreli, also has a background in stock fraud. After being a CEO, I believe for a Bio-Tech company he committed stock fraud and was sued by the company for 65 million dollars. Maybe that’s why he decided that hey this is a great way to pay back my debt, profit from a life-saving drug. This is beyond unethical. An interview with Brian Sullivan, from CNBC Business News asked him, where did he even come up with such an outrageous price, Martin couldn’t even explain. When news came out about this price hike, even Hilary Clinton commented, asking what is this guy doing, trying to increase death rate amongst newborn babies and AIDS patients. With Martin Shkreli’s past history, he shouldn’t be allowed to have rights to anything let a along a life-saving drug like Daraprim.

  12. First of all I believe that in a country with as much wealth as ours no one should have to worry about either medical care of food. Now on to my opinion about the article. First I think that Martin Shkreli has many other opportunities to make money than to prey on sick people, yes I call it preying because it involves a person’s life and wellbeing. I don’t agree with too much government regulation but maybe it’s time for regulation of the pharmaceutical industry. of course the reason that Martin Shkreli gave for raising the price of the medication held no merit, the example he is setting is pure egoist which I think that type of ethical thinking is not only wrong in this industry but also very dangerous. For one human being to risk the lives of thousands for personal gain makes us think what is next five hundred dollar flu shots? Antitrust may not be in play here but trying to prevent other companies form producing a generic version is also unfair. I would like to conclude by saying I think it’s time for the government to regulate the drug industries and possibly revise the antitrust laws to prevent opportunist individuals from making a five thousand percent profit from much needed medication.

  13. I feel that the government should apply some regulations primarily to control pricing if a drug has the ability to save a human life. Regulating pricing would allow all people of every economic status access to life saving pharmaceuticals. Should whether one can afford the cost of a life saving drug really be the determining factor if one lives or dies? The fact that the drug Daraprim has been around for 62 years, was previously priced at $13.50 per tablet then raised to $750 per tablet once the drug’s rights were acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals, and that there are no other treatments available that are as effective as Daraprim, shows pure greed and lack of human decency from the pharmaceutical company. The founder and CEO, Martin Shkreli certainly hasn’t demonstrated doing the “right thing” and obviously hasn’t applied Utilitarianism when making the choice to raise prices so drastically.
    Even if Turing Pharmaceutical did not violate any antitrust laws by simple raising the price of Daraprim, they violated basic ethical principles. The company’s decision to drastically increase the price of the drug by almost 5000% exposes their ethical principles and standards, or lack there of. Their absence of action and follow through of lowering the price when they reported they would do so again demonstrates they are in short supply of ethical principles.
    At this point, how can the government not intervene and take action on behalf of those sick and facing life threatening illnesses? It surprises me that after all these years, there is no other drug on the market that is as effective as Daraprim. Hopefully, the publicity of this has raised awareness that we need regulation of drug pricing and that we have an obligation to support alternative drug research.

  14. Yes, I think pharmaceutical drug pricing should be regulated by the government. If the government regulated the pharmaceutical drugs it could help people save a lot of money, and it could save many peoples lives that depend on these drugs to survive. It is absolutely imperative to regulate pricing on Daraprim and other drugs that mend people with illnesses. If the government was in control they could set up a system to keep these types drugs in a price range that is attainable for any citizen.

    Martin Shkreli is a terrible person for drastically increasing the price of Daraprim. People with many types of diseases depend on this drug for their survival, and Mark Shkreli is hindering many citizens from obtaining Daraprim. Daraprim clearly isn’t a very expensive drug to produce, and raising the price by almost 5,000 percent is completely absurd. This is an act of an egoist who clearly shows no care in regards to people’s health and safety. It is not only unethical, it is completely inhumane for Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals to hold these restrictions on Daraprim; because other companies are unable to make generic copies of Daraprim, people are going to suffer without their medicine. It is obvious that Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals are doing this in their best interest, but it is morally wrong to deprive the ill of their medicine. It is understandable that Turing Pharmaceuticals wants to profit off of their medicine, but they should make the pricing feasible for an average paid citizen to afford.

  15. I honestly do not have enough education in the field to know whether or not the government should be regulating pharmaceutical drug pricing. However, based off the little knowledge I do have I would say yes, to that some extinct the government should have some control over the pharmaceutical companies in the way that they maintain and oversee how much the company spends and what they charge in means of the company making profit. I say this because as chief executive of Turning Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli said, he is a capitalist and wants to make “a profitable drug company”. If the government was directly overseeing how much profit the company was making, taxes them for their high increase in medicine and deciding how their profit was spent would they have drastically increased Daraprim like they did? Regardless of government control or not though, what he did and what his board did is wrong, to take a medicine that can determines someones chance of living or not and increase it by nearly 5,000% is beyond unethical. When this decision was made, the very next day I saw all over social media posts and articles about him and about how upset people were, people who depended on this medicine were literally begging for the price to be lowered, they knew their lives were at stake as they could not afford to go from paying $13.50 to $750 a tablet for this medicine. I could not imagine being able to go to sleep at night knowing I was taking the lives of people, taking a mother away from her kids or a husband from his significant other, just for my own self greed. So where is this line drawn, in the big scheme of things this happens daily, do you think airline really need to charge so much for tickets? Though flying is considered leisure, will government regulations over these pharmaceutical companies really help or instead will they just want to make a hefty profit off of them?

  16. I do feel that the government should step in when privately owned pharmaceutical companies raise the price of a drug that is saving people’s lives to a price that is unaffordable. Insurance alone is expensive these days, then you have to pay a co-payment for your doctor, and then pay out of pocket for medicine it adds up quickly. I think that the doctors and drug companies are thinking more about placing money into their own pocket versus doing what began their career and helping people get better.

    In this case this medicine primarily helps people who have cancer or AIDS. This is already a blow to them financially by the constant care and treatments and most people in this situation are probably already out of work. I feel there should be some regulations set on pricing for medications and treatments to ensure everyone can receive quality treatment. It always baffles me that people in this country who do not work are given free healthcare (for the most part). People who are wealthy get the best medical care and those who are working hard paying their bills and not receiving any help from the government are the ones we are hurting. Yes, I believe the government should step in and do what is fair for all.

    Many will argue that this is a privately owned business and can rate the prices to what they wish; however as you read many doctors are searching for a cheaper alternative which means that company will not do better. It could go under and then who will produce the medicine? I understand an increase might be possible but, this is an outrage.

  17. Pharmaceutical drug pricing is something the can become very unethical as you can see in this article. Raising the price of a drug almost 5,000 percent can become deadly for the people that depend on that type of drug. Martin Shkreli should not be allowed to raise a drug price that high, especially when ethics come into play, he should understand that this medicine is to help the sick, not fill his pockets with money. With Turing Pharmaceuticals taking the drug off the distribution channels, it allows others not to replicate the drug, which the other companies are trying to do to lower the price allows the people that are in need of the drug to be able to afford it again. If the Government regulated the prices of pharmaceutical drugs, there would be a lot more fair prices, unless the Government is unethical as well and wants to make some type of profit off the sales, which would not be shocking. Unfortunately at this point the pharmaceutical company has the right to raise the price on the drug and also take the drug off the distribution channels, even though it is unethical to do so. The only way for this to come to a stop is the attorney general regulating how much of a price increase they would allow a company to increase the price of a current drug or if they would allow that company to have the rights to that drug and limit the distribution of it to other companies for them to duplicate the drug.

  18. My thoughts are that all pharmaceutical companies should be monitored by the government, not just for quality control but also pricing. When Turning Pharmaceuticals raised the price so much as to make it almost inaccessible they were not only unethical, but also irresponsible. Drugs should be available to all those that need them, with profit not even a consideration; and if what it take is for all the pharmaceutical companies to be run, and owned completely by the government then so be it. Peoples health and wellbeing should come before anything, especially in a country as ours that has the financial ability to place a high value on the welfare of its citizens. It is disturbing to think that my health and those of my family members depend on the good will of a total stranger that only has his own interest at heart and has no problem sleeping at night with a dirty conscience like Martin Shkeli. It is unfair that these type of companies are working under, and are protected by laws that were put into place for the protection of all citizens but only have one goal in their agenda, that being to make as much money as possible on the need and suffering of others.
    Class # 995

  19. The government regulates and will continue to regulate what pharmaceutical companies do, so there’s no point in arguing about that. But I believe that it should be done because this can save a lot of money.
    However, I will say something serious needs to be done concerning the price of drugs these days. When this story went national in the media, people had very negative reactions to it because it was such a shock. Such a drastic increase in price does raise some concern because this was a decision made over night. I believe this was an unethical decision due to the fact that people’s lives were depending on this drug. Why would the Chief Executive not realize that his decision, which was solely based on his own self interest of making money, was endangering the lives of thousands? His comment “ to make a profit” was infuriating because it is just a selfish thing to do. I’m sure with a company that is as substantial as his, there are plenty of ways to make money other than taking a medication away from the people that can’t afford it. Does he not care about the lives of innocent people? His “needs” or desires for the company should never hinder other (the sick), instead it should be focused on being beneficial to the public. To provide for the people that needs the medication. Lives are far more valuable than money.
    On a decision like this one, I think the government should intervene and say this isn’t right. How many lives will be lost or already have been lost due to this decision? I wouldn’t want to know that number and know I was responsible for it.

  20. I believe that pharmaceutical drug pricing should be regulated by the government in order to prevent situations such as this with Turing Pharmaceuticals. There should be a maximum fee allowed to charge for medications. The sad part is that this medication is crucial in the treatment of parasitic infections. Without the drug, many people will die that otherwise wouldn’t have before the 5000% increase in cost. Whether or not Turing Pharmaceuticals violated antitrust laws, in my opinion, it is completely unethical to raise the price so drastically for a medication for personal gain. Martin Shkreli admitted to this when making his comment, “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company. We’re trying to flourish.” His motives are purely selfish and something needs to be done to stop actions like this. To increase a medications cost to over $20,000 for a 30 day supply is ridiculous. Even though he stated that he would lower the price from the current rate of $750 per pill, I have a feeling that the decrease will be minimal. Keeping high prices for medications will cause many people to go without them because they would be unable to afford them. The fear that hospitals will seek cheaper, less effective alternatives is a very true fear to have. I understand the need to increase prices when demand is high and supply is low; however, raising the price for personal gain should not be allowed. Pharmaceutical companies should focus on the needs of others that require this medication, rather than the need to fill their wallets.

  21. It is my opinion that there are many advantages to having the government control drug prices. However, there are also many stipulations that I believe should be applied in order to ensure that the power the government holds is not abused. It is my belief that there should be strict regulations concerning the pharmaceutical drug pricing to provide that the government cannot raise the prices on medicines- only lower them. The government should not be able to put restrictions on health insurance either- allowing all insurance providers to charge the same amount for the medicines, and most importantly they should not be able to tax any of the pharmaceutical companies or the insurance providers. The government should also control all drug pricing to ensure that the pharmaceutical companies are treated fairly, and lower the prices to an affordable rate to allow those without prescription coverage the ability to meet the expense of the medicine. Through the Obama Administration, it is necessary for all citizens to carry some kind of health care insurance, however these insurance companies do not cover different medications that the providers prescribe. Therefore it would be most beneficial to the American Citizens to have the government regulate prices on pharmaceuticals.
    It is highly unethical to raise a drug price 5000%. At one time Turing Pharmaceuticals was able to produce and profit from the medication, called Daraprim, while charging $13.50. The main purpose of this medication is to treat an infection by parasite for patients with AIDS and cancer. It is my opinion that Turing Pharmaceuticals is taking advantage of terminally ill patients. Turing is aware that most of these patients have prescription coverage through their medical insurance to pay for the Daraprim (this leads to their profit.) Turing is also aware that insurance will pay the unfairly high rates for these medications especially because there is no generic. These patients with HIV and cancer need this medication to fight parasitic infections. It is completely unethical for this pharmaceutical company to take advantage of insurance companies and terminally ill patients. As the CEO Martin Shkreli stated, “We’re trying to flourish.” It can therefore be inferred that this company is unethically overcharging terminally ill patients for a sixty year old medication because they are more interested in profit. If their main priority was to provide this drug for treatment of the terminally ill, they would lower the price considerably so that it was affordable to the patients that the medicine was developed for.

    –Elyse Noel Franzitta

  22. Yes. I believe the amount of this particular price increase was greatly unethical. I support capitalism and even understand greed on a corporate level but the 5,000% price increase goes far beyond corporate greed. Human lives suddenly became expendable simply to make a dollar. Greedy corporations and its owners usually idolize and value the final profit amount more than the actual worker doing the work. Those workers are sometimes laid off, lose their jobs and so on so forth; but this type of corporate action will cause humans to lose their lives at an unknown rate. The general population and the media made it known how they feel about this price increase and that pressure alone initiated the “awaited” price decrease. I’m happy about that because I don’t think government should regulate drug pricing mostly because they are in the drug business. Medicare, Medicaid and other public aid programs SHOULD create a conflict of interest for the government to regulate prices of items they also pay for.

    Section #996

  23. It is indeed the governments responsibility to regulate capitalism so that it doesn’t encroach on the health, safety and liberty of the people. If not the government, then who else will stop this from happening to our water supply, our food and our housing? This case is a perfect example of how unregulated capitalism is a flawed model as it proves that money buys unequivocal power, the ‘free market’ doesn’t self regulate, and the poor are indeed exploited by the rich . Unfortunately, this instance will actually be fatal for some, and as a nation, we don’t have enough liquidity in our law, to change anything fast enough to save the people that are being extorted by the rich.
    This also shows that the law does not define morality. Martin Shkreli acted legally, but not morally right by any other principle other than straight egoism. This tactic is a non sustainable approach, there is no respect for people, it breaks the rules of contractarianism, and it defies act utility. 995

  24. I think that the government should regulate the drug prices. Having private companies buy such drugs as Daraprim and raising the price by so much in such a short amount of time is ludicrous. If not regulated by the government then such things need to be regulated by a company that has no investment in the pharmaceutical companies at all. That way the people stay neutral in the matters in question.

    If Turing Pharmaceuticals did not violate any antitrust laws, then yes I believe that that is unethical. It causes an already expensive drug – that is needed to keep people alive – to become unattainable. By the very fact that even if the people themselves cannot afford it, then the insurance companies that previously covered the additional expenses for it will no longer do so because of the cost. I understand that Martin Shkreli is trying to grow his company into “a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company”, but at what expense? Is becoming the biggest pharmaceutical company in the nation and/or world really worth the hundreds of lives that are at terminal risk for not having access to this medication. Be it name brand or generic. I am glad that the New York attorney general is looking into Turing Pharmaceuticals. They have already stated that they were going to lower the price of the medication. It should not take that long to figure out how much they can lower it to and still make a reasonable profit. The previous company that produced it was making a decent profit off of it (else it would have stopped manufacturing it or raised the price itself). Waiting to actually lower the price like they said they would is milking the current price for as long as we let them get away with it. It need to be stopped.

  25. Yes I believe it is time for the government to step in and control the drug pricing. I believe that all companies should be able to charge a fair price and be able to make a profit so that they can survive and continue in the growth of the company. Our country does regulate other business. The people who need this drug are already very sick and most likely are not working because of their health and may or may not have insurance. Insurance companies may choose not to cover the drug because of the cost. Since this drug has been around for 62 years and only cost $13.50 a tablet this is the drug of choice by doctors because it is effective and has a low cost factor. I am sure when this is investigated if would be found this drug is being made for pennies so the company is already making a profit. It is totally unethical to raise the price by 5000%. It is all about the greed to make more money to put in the pocket of Michael Shkreli. By not violating any antitrust laws but just raising the price is purely unethical. He has also promised to lower the price of the drug but this has not happened and I am not sure if it ever will. He just tells people what they want to hear with no intention of doing anything different then what he already doing. If you want to raise the price that is fine but don’t raise it so it out of reach for so many people. If people can’t afford it and no one is buying how you think you can make a profit.

  26. After reading about this I think that the government should have the upper hand when it comes in controlling how much prescription drug pricing is. I feel that Turing Pharmaceuticals is being very unethical with its decision to buy this drug that so many people need and raising the price to something that people cant afford. It states that they want this drug to turn into a ‘specialty drug’ and they want this drug to flourish but how would that be possible if no one can afford the drug you are promoting. How could you go from $13.50 to $750 per pill is my question. Where did they come up with and how do you think raising the price by 5,000 percent would allow your drug to flourish. Not only are they being unethical when it comes the raising the price they are also being unethical when it comes to releasing a statement that you are going to lower the cost of the pill but then never do it. Your giving people hope out there that could be sick and dying and are in need of this pill that you made so expensive they cannot afford to take and then just letting everyone down. This company or drug will never flourish with the representation he is presenting. I think once again that the government should have control of how much these drugs cost especially when it comes to hospitals that are in need of this medication for their patients so that people like Martin Shkrehi don’t make decisions that can cost others their lives.

  27. I believe it is unethical that Turing Pharmaceuticals has raised the price of Daraprim. This is a drug that can save lives and for someone like Martin Shkreli to purchase the rights to the drug so he can drive up the price for profit, knowing it is less accessible to the people that need it the most is wrong in every way possible. This does not benefit anyone but the Turing Pharmaceutical company. This also makes it harder for companies to copy samples of Daraprim so they can create a generic to the more expensive brand. After attention was brought to the company for the price sky rocketing, Martin Shkreli claimed to lower the price, but did not follow through. If the government regulated pharmaceutical drug pricing, it would prevent companies such as Turing Pharmaceuticals from raising the prices on pharmaceutical drugs in hopes of their company flourishing. With the government in control, these pharmaceutical drugs will be more affordable for the lower income people who need these medications to survive. For a company to be able to take a pill that cost $13.50 and increase the cost to $750 to a pill is price gouging, they know they have something that is needed that no one else has so the increase the price and feel if people want to survive they will pay the price, this is wrong. The government definitely needs to step in to make sure this isn’t a constant issue, some of these companies just want to get rich, and not help people.

  28. As a healthcare worker I have personally seen the effects of drugs and their new and increasing prices. It’s difficult when you want to get better from an infection or virus but the only thing keeping you back is the cost of the medications. This should not be the case someone has to pay for his or her health. The pricing of drugs and different medical treatments should be regulated. It is sad to see America face this issue. The CEO is more focused on capital and income than the health of his fellow people. $750 for a tablet is unheard of. From my understanding a full course of this medication must be completed in order to fight the infection. Instead someone will be forced to stop taking it because of financial reasons instead on incompliance. In my opinion the government of is giving too much control to the pharmaceutical companies and not regulating them. Any branch of health care is to help pone get better and reach balance, it seems as though big pharmaceutical companies are doing the exact opposite and trying to gain more money. If we take Canada or Paris for example, the government regulates their big drug corporations and the people are not cheated of their benefits. This is a major ethical issue in the United States. The reality of it is that these pharmaceutical CEOs have gained so much power over the medical industry that it is to difficult to stop them now. People should get better health care without having to spend so much money. We are trying to fight the disease but by raising prices we are making the disease worse.

  29. I was scared and sadden when I read this story. Turing Pharmaceuticals say “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful company, a profitable drug company”. That is a bold statement to make when dealing with people’s lives. They are basically putting a price on human lives I feel. I do get them raising the price of the drug from a business standpoint. They did not buy the rights to just keep things going at a small profit I do get that. They could have raised the price some and still gotten more business or profit. Capitalism is a scary thing when it relates to human lives and their well-being or quality of life I feel. It also saddens me to think about it this way that only the very wealth might one day have access to the best healthcare options if things like this continue. I feel no matter your background or wealth in life should come into play when dealing with health or healthcare (or in this case RX prescriptions). So this leads to the questions should drug pricing be regulated by the government? I say yes for many reasons. First would be this. This is no different I feel than price gouging during a hurricane. People need things in order to preserve their life. Like during a hurricane you can’t charge people $10 a gallon for gas/fuel in order for them to run a generator to support basic life functions (cleaning water or electric). Their needs to be a way for the government to control extreme RX drug gouging I feel. If a company raises the price of a drug more than 60% they should have to submit an application for approve beforehand (before raising the price). If the application shows why they need the increase and it’s a just one then some increase is at that point approved.

    Sean Cameron
    SPC PHI 1600
    Word Count 317

  30. In my opinion, drug prices should not be regulated by the government overall. If the government imposed a price for a drug that was not making the company a lot of profit, then the company would have no motivation to create new helpful drugs. On the other hand, the government could play some role in determining the price of a drug such as putting a price cap on the market price of the drug which would give the companies some leeway but not enough to scam consumers out of their money.
    Even if Turing Pharmaceuticals did not violate any laws and raised the price just for their own profit, what they did was still unethical. The result of raising the price of the drug a shocking 5000% is that consumers would not be able to afford the drug which could hurt both them and the market. If the price is so high that no people are buying the drug, then the company is being hurt as well. What average consumer could afford to pay $750 for one tablet of a drug that should cost just over $10? No one, so nobody would buy the drug! Shkreli even stated that he is trying to build a huge competitive drug company, so he is only concerned about the profits he and the company are making and not the consumers. Consumers who need this drug to help them get healthier are at a loss as there are no substitutes able to be made like Daraprim and the simple drug that has been around for over 60 years is now going to be treated as a “specialty” drug. I believe that the choice to increase the price of the drug this far is cruel and monopolistic and very unethical.

  31. After reading this blog I believe this is a out cry that our world needs help. For someone to buy out a medicine that can help a lethal disease and try to become a billionaire over night by raising the current price of the medicine by 5000% is out right ridiculous. This guy maybe did not break any laws but he might as well because he is stealing the fresh air out of people lives that carry this disease . The only hope for these people to live longer than expected could be the pill at $13.50 a piece but he raises it to 750 and now it becomes very expensive especially to the ones who don’t’ have health insurance. Now these people have to try and get prescribed another pill that may not have the same powerful affect. It hurts to read these type of things because 1 of my sisters died at the age of 18 from AIDS so to see that somebody is trying to make a profit off something that could of helped my sister rather than try and help her makes me sick. I hope the attorneys who are taking this case win it and get the price back dropped to 13.50 a pill or close to it.I wish as a country we could vote just like the president elections on what medicines the government can control and what medicines companies could control. This probably wouldn’t solve the whole issue hear but at least it would give the world a voice

  32. The government should regulate drug prices because I believe that anytime profit is at stake, moral standards and regulations fall prey to corruption. I think this is especially true when it comes to pharmaceutical companies. Companies, like Turing Pharmaceuticals, need to understand the moral issue of raising the price of a drug used by the medically vulnerable. A person’s health far outweighs corporate profit in my mind and to see a company blatantly disregard the responsibility they have to treat the sick in favor of chasing the dollar is truly depraved. What makes their actions even more repugnant, is their attempts to limit price competition from generic drug companies by manipulating Daraprim’s channels of distribution, therefore making it harder for generic drugs to be made. I do not trust pharmaceutical companies, like Turing, to hold themselves at a high, or even acceptable moral standard when it comes to making money off the sick and vulnerable. The fact that they would try to monopolize the drug to limit its access to those who can’t afford it, furthers my belief in the need for government regulation. Sky-high profits should not be made at the expense of those who are sick and are seeking treatment, which is why there needs to be enforced regulations on drug pricing. #996

  33. The founder and head executive of Turning Pharmaceuticals, Martian Shkreli, raised the price per pill of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. To take a lifesaving pharmaceutical drug that was available to most people who needed it, than make it almost impossible to get without spending hundreds is extremely unethical. Thousands of people can die without these pharmaceuticals that were previously available to them.
    The drug, Daraprim, was available through patient program assistance, which is to assist low income patients who cannot afford the medication. Now that the prices have increased thousands of people will not be able to receive proper medical care.
    Martin Shkreli, defended the decision that the company increased the price of the lifesaving drug based on the companies needs to do well. This is extremely unethical because the cons outweigh the pros. By doing this thousands of people can no longer receive vital treatment. The company’s self-interest to flourish is egotistical.
    After many complaints of the increase in the price of Daraprim, Martin Shkreli stated he would reduce the price from $750 but did not state when or by how much. Turning Pharmaceuticals still have not lowered the price.
    Just because Turning Pharmaceuticals did not violate any laws, does not make it ethical to raise the price of Daraprim. In this case if the government intervened it may have prevented this outrageous price increase but overall Pharmaceutical drug pricing should not be regulated by the government. If the government gets involved pharmaceutical companies may not be motivated to finding cures for other medical problems because there would not be much profit.

  34. In cases where a particular medical product’s general availability is being hindered (Vaughan), from a social contract point of view, the government should act under a Contractarianism theory and implement laws to limit price increases to a specific percentage point for a specified period (Manias). Additionally, whether or not antitrust rules have been violated, the government should aggressively negotiate much lower drug pricing overall.

    The bills generated by patients covered under Medicare, Veterans Administration, Affordable Care Act subsides, and discount drug programs, which are all subsidized by the government at Federal, State, and local levels. Additionally, the result of the first point is the sheer fact that government, and its associated business ties as an end-payer to all facets of the medical industry, is by far the largest end-payer of the final bills, and therefore the largest ‘customer’ of pharmaceutics with the greatest leverage to negotiate lower pharmaceutical and other medical costs overall.

    Mr. Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals do have a right under current law to make a profit, but acting under pure ethical egoism, the overall goal being profitability, the practices of monopolization and price gouging, legal or not, are exploitative, manipulative, and would be considered unethical from a consequential utilitarian theorist’s point of view (Manias). Additionally, whether or not a patient is insured under a government program, that patient has a right to access a drug at a reasonable price.

    The previous company Mr. Shkreli worked for, Retrophin, “is cooperating with a federal criminal investigation into certain financial transactions by Mr. Shkreli during his tenure there” (Pollack). To assume Mr. Shkreli’s actions at Retrophin imply his actions at Turning further implicate his tendency towards ethical egoism, lack of moral motivation and moral character, and appearing to operate solely under Kant’s stage two Instrument and Relativity, might be viewed as Faulty Causation (Manias). In essence, Mr. Shkreli is taking advantage of loopholes in various laws to improve profitability with no regard for how his actions affect individual patients, nor whether or not he is violating antitrust laws.

    Word Count: 338

    Works Cited
    Manias, N., Monroe, D, Till, J. Ethics Applied. 7th. Boston: Pearson, 2013. Print. 19 October 2015.

    Pollack, Andrew. “New York Attorney General Examining Whether Turing Restricted Drug Access.” 12 October 2015. The New York Times. Web. 19 October 2015. .

    Vaughan, Joann. “Ethical Discussions: The ethics of drug pricing #spcethics.” 13 October 2015. St. Petersburg College (SPC). Ed. General Education. Web. 19 October 2015. .

  35. As I read the blog called “Ethical Discussions: The ethics of drug pricing”, I came to the conclusion that raising the price of the drug was unethical in my opinion. Martin Shkreli, who is the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, clearly stated that the price of the drug was raised to make the company more cost-effective. The company was only thinking about how to make more money instead of thinking about all the negative effects that the drug will go through because of the change in pricing. The government should not regulate the price of medications that are industrialized by private companies. Turing Pharmaceuticals is indeed a private company and I personally believe that the right thing to do is allow the company to charge whatever price they like for their own products. Another way to look at this pricing issue is to think that if the government regulated all drug pricing, there wouldn’t be a motivation to develop new drugs or new ideas for drugs. To explain my reasoning, it can be very expensive to experience and test new medications and drugs. As a conclusion, I believe it is unethical for Turing Pharmaceuticals to raise the price of Daraprim. They didn’t just raise the price by a little bit; the priced was raised by a large number. Having the drug increase in pricing created the potential to harm numerous people that actually need the drug. To add on, the price was raised mainly for the company to make more money and not to benefit people.

  36. What Martin Shkreli did in raising the prices of Daraprim was completely unethical. To think that someone would have the audacity to raise the price of a drug that’s been around for years by almost five thousand percent is incomprehensible. The fact that there are people in this world that care only for themselves over the health and well being of millions is absolutely disgusting. Sure what he may have done was legal, but his statement saying that he wants to create a “flourishing drug company” is misguided. In my opinion, a Flourishing drug company should be one that takes care of the people and has the people’s best interest in mind. To think that it is uncommon for companies to buy the rights to certain drugs and raise the pricing however and whenever they please is also a bit disturbing. There should be a point when the lives of others should be more valuable than money. This leads me into believing that if pharmaceutical drug pricing were to be regulated by the government, it may possibly turn out to be a something great and would be able save so many people from illness. This idea would certainly only be useful if the government was taking up the responsibility for the right reasons and having the people’s best interest as their top priority. If this were the case then it would be the most optimal solution. This would alleviate pharmaceutical companies trying to raise they’re prices whenever they please and ensure fairness for the people.

  37. The ethical issue in this article is that a pharmaceutical company is supposed to be one to help people however, raising the price of the drug is doing the opposite of that. These pills could be used to save many lives of those affected by AIDS and other deadly diseases but at the rate they are priced it is going to be harder for those who essentially need them to obtain. I understand that the company needs to make some money back but raising the price so it is almost impossible to get is a ridiculous attempt at getting it. This increase can cause hospitals to offer alternate methods that won’t be as effective but will be a rational price. It would make more sense to reasonable price the drug so that more people are able to buy it so the rate of sales increases. I believe that involving the government would not be going too far it is more rational if an outside source regulates the prices rather than a greedy CEO. Although as stated no antitrust laws were broken, Turing Pharmaceuticals raising the price of Daraprim is completely unethical. The chief executive, Martin Shkreli, even used the excuse of raising the price by 5,000 percent in order for his plan to create a big drug company and for it to “flourish”. That is the main purpose for the drug for it to sell well, what about for it to save millions of lives? It should not be about profit it should be about helping those in need.

  38. While I agree that it was unethical to raise the price because there is currently no competition, I believe it will change when more investigations open up into the antitrust aspect of the company. However, a company does have the right to charge whatever they want for their product. They paid for the rights of Daraprim and can do what they wish with their product. But when they restrict other competition from entering the market, it creates a monopoly which is against the law. But if I was to examine this from a look without the antitrust aspect, I could play devil’s advocate. The company can argue that the money from the increase could result in more research for other treatments and medicine, company expansion, etc. So although it is bad for consumers, it is ultimately up to the goal of the business. If their goal is to help people, they wouldn’t charge so much. If their goal is $$$$$, then they will charge the ridiculous amount and in this case, “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company. We’re trying to flourish.”

  39. I do not believe that pharmaceutical drug pricing should be left to the government because it could cause a decrease in sales and income in businesses who manufacture the drugs. It is understanding that Turing Pharmaceuticals did not violate the antitrust law, but that also does not mean that every pharmaceutical company should be punished for the actions of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Some pharmaceutical companies charge patients fair pricing. It is known that it takes a lot of money to research and develop the medications, therefore some companies may overcharge to make a profit back of the money they have lost. Raising the price of the medication Daraprim is indeed unethical, it does not allow those less fortunate or truly in need of this medication the opportunity to afford it. Daraprim, as stated in the article is used for fighting off an infection like toxoplasmosis. People with immunity issues could be infected such as those listed: cancer patients and AID patients; patients with both those medical conditions are already suffering medical expenses, to add the cost of Daraprim would only cause more stress and problems for patients. Turing Pharmaceuticals increasing the price is unjust and selfish as it only fits their demands and not the demands of those who do need this medication. Raising the price of the medication will only cause problems as the company will make less of a profit on the medication. Making medication should not be just about the money if you are making medications you should do it to benefit and truly want to help others, it is what’s morally right to do.

  40. I do believe the government should get involved. It is taking advantage of patients as well as taking advantage of making a profit. It has money and greed all over the prescription or drug. This situation is completely unethical. It is not fair to many who may benefit over the drug. Only the wealthy or upper class will be able to afford and take advantage of the drug. Daraprim and Turing needs to realize this could save many lives. This shouldn’t to be about profiting or fear that another company will use the ingredients to make generic. To me it seems like greed more then anything or should I say its unethical and it has become an issue. The government should definitely become involved in a way to help companies from making it into a capital and make it into a benefit for the truly needed patients. At least take control of the absurd pricing and make it reasonable. If this company is the only one making the drug then who else out there is going to copy. The company should also checked into further to see what else unethically it has done wrong.

  41. Upon reading the blog article titled “Ethical Discussions: The ethics of drug pricing” I couldnt help but make the assessment that the hike in the drug price was unethical. In August, when Shkreli’s comapny purchased the rights to this drug he chose to hike up the price. America is a capitalist (and very materialistic) society, so when he justifies the raise in price with the quote “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful drug company, a profitable drug company. We’re trying to flourish.” I understand it. I do not however think that a drug as old as Daraprim necessarily needs to raise in price by 5000 percent.

    Also, what example does this set in the pharmaceutical world? I fear that this will become a trend if the government does not intervene and implement some kind of regulation or law to prevent this from happening again. The pharmaceutical industry generates three hundred billion dollars in revenue each year. I feel like that is an obscene figure.

    I do believe that the government needs to step up in this situation. Greedy CEO’s do not need to make any more money off of people that are probably already struggling financially to sustain their life. This price raise was completely unnecessary and will pave the way for other greedy pharmaceutical company owners.

  42. I believe the government should be allowed to regulate pharmaceutical drug pricing to an extent. Pharmaceutical drug companies are mostly business, making money off of the drugs they know people will need and getting paid through insurance companies. That being said there are name brand drugs and generic versions. Generic brand drugs are required to have the same dosage, strength, active ingredients, and administration as the name brand drugs. The only difference are the inactive ingredients. That doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but when dealing with chemicals inactive ingredients can be a huge difference. It is always better to go with the name brand drugs, however they are usually very expensive and many insurance companies will not pay for them. Many people get generic substitutions without even knowing just because of their insurance companies. When there is a generic option available it is understandable for name brand to charge more. However, some drugs do not have a generic brand. This makes the cost of said drugs very high with no other options and insurance will not always cover it. When situations like this occur the government should be allowed to regulate the price of pharmaceutical drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs may be a business, but they are also there to help those that are sick and in need of medicine. Turing is taking advantage of the fact they are the only provider of the most effective treatment for AIDS/HIV. Turing increasing the price so much makes it nearly impossible for other companies to create a generic and affordable version of the Daraprim. Many people would have to spend an entire pay check to get one dose of Turing’s Daraprim. This is incredibly unethical for Turing to raise the price so high, they are monopolizing the entire outlet for Daraprim with no regard to the health of those in need. I get that companies need to make money and people need to get paid, but it is truly wicked that Turing is allowing so many in need to suffer or even die. The government should regulate prices during situations like this. Turing should either drop the price monumentally or allow another company to create an affordable generic brand drug.

  43. The drug company is unethical in its extreme increase of price for the drug as it was only done to increase the profit the company made. The drug has been for 62 years with the same price so that people could be treated but with the increase less people that can be treated and an increase in the people who die of toxoplasmosis. Even if they did not violate any antitrust laws the sole fact that they did not even give solid reason for the massive increase in prices other than profits. As for possible government control over the cost of drugs, I think it is a good idea as long as there is some strong guide lines to limit that control as well as rules to prevent people from increasing the prices just for a payoff. The biggest problems will come with how to limit the government and the drug company from extreme price increases without making it impossible for said company to make a profit. We also have to consider about the possibility of people not wanting to invent new drugs and or people being willing to invest in drug company’s if they would happen to like the fact that they would not get as much of a profit if the government is controlling how much can be charged on the very product they wish to make a profit off of. Overall I believe that the government should have some control on drug prices to prevent people from charging extreme prices for drugs people need to live.

  44. As a massage therapist I don’t always agree with the use of drugs however I understand the importance of it when it is needed. I think it is unethical for a drug company to raise the price so drastically. However I didn’t think about commenting on this subject until an article came across my Facebook page October 23,2015 where the maker was bringing the price back down to $1 pill. It goes to show that it wasn’t about the cost of making it, it was the greed of taking advantage of someone who needs it. What happen to the Golden rule do unto others as you would have them do unto you? I hope the regulator nip this in the bud before it happens more and becoming the norm.

  45. I feel that the government should be involved when pharmaceutical companies choose to inflate the cost of medication. Furthermore, for terminal illnesses such as cancer and AIDS, those medications should be automatically reduced in price because of the extent of the illness. For instance, if pharmaceutical companies are to raise the cost of medications for these types of illnesses and not provide samples for competitors to recreate generic versions. By that same token, the company could receive negative media attention because the families of those individuals will begin to blame the pharmaceutical company for the untimely death of their loved ones. Therefore, government involvement should be mandate because companies should have extensive federal regulations that they’re required to follow. Lastly, this article poses an unethical issue because Martin Shkreli, fails to acknowledge how this could affect various stakeholders (patients, stock holders, etc.).

    Section #644

  46. Assuming that Turing Pharmaceuticals did not in fact violate any antitrust laws, Martin Shkreli still did an unethical act by the drastic change in pricing for this medication. These patients who depend on this medication already have many things to be worried about, other than the price. Many people go without treatment because the cost of health care related services. This price increase did not have the patients’ health in mind; they were only thinking about themselves, and how much more money they would be able to make by increasing this medication by 5,000%. By making this medication so expensive, it is forcing these patients to go to a medication that might not be as effective for their body.

    I agree with the protests that occurred due to this increase in price for this medication. Just because another person buys the medication, it should not give them the right to raise the price to an absurd amount. I do understand that it is the laws that are set forth right now. Companies who buy out other drug companies, buy the right to raise prices to such a level that in so unaffordable. Therefore, I do believe that the pharmaceutical drug prices should be regulated by the government. This would create an equal opportunity for individuals who are seeking health care and the medications they need. They would not have to worry about the cost of a medication that could potentially save their life.

  47. “Should pharmaceutical drug pricing be regulated by the government? Assuming that Turing Pharmaceuticals did not in fact violate any antitrust laws and simply raised the price of Daraprim, is this unethical?” Personally, I don’t not think that pharmaceutical drug pricing should be regulated by the government. I feel that it is better off a free-market, as drug prices will always and inevitably even out in the long run. While most people would probably believe that the incident of Turning Pharmaceuticals raising the price of Daraprim, from $13.50 to $750 a single capsule, is unethical, I however do not. My reasoning for this is because, according to an article posted by the Los Angeles Times on October 23, 2015, it states that many pharmaceutical companies argue that the high prices of drugs on the market help pay for research expenses and that Turning Pharmaceutical’s high pricing helps finance new drugs and helps bring existing drugs into the market. It was also said in the article that the company stated that about half of the revenue made from the high prices of their distribution of drugs is spent on further research and development of new and existing drugs. This being said, the high prices of the Daraprim in the long run, contributes to the greater good of developing more drugs to benefit more people. Aside from that, it was also made known in the article that a company called Imprimis Pharmaceuticals of San Diego, came up with a generic competitor drug to Turning Pharmaceutical’s Daraprim, and is selling it for $1 a capsule undercutting Turning Pharmaceutical by $749. This further supports why I believe that the government should not regulate drug prices because companies like Imprimis, offer generic drugs that in most cases offer the same effects name brand drugs offer, and companies like Turning Pharmaceuticals who price their drugs extremely high take a substantial amount of profits and put in towards the research and development of new and existing drugs.

  48. I cant say that I agree with the pricing. However, I don’t think it should be regulated by the government. They are running a business and trying to make a living just like everyone else. Granted, it is at the expense of someone’s life, but they could careless.They are in the business to make money and that’s what they are doing. This is a prime example of supply and demand. There is a huge need for this pill, and they have the supply. Legally, they can charge whatever they want. However, raising the price by over 5000% is extremely unreasonable, they have the right do so. I find it very unethical, given the fact we are dealing with someones health. Taking this pill is a matter of life and death for someone, whereas the company owners do not see it that way.

  49. With the price going up that much raises a lot of questions. There is not enough information about why the price went up that much other than what the founder briefly states in this article. There more to learn about the why before an accurate and ethical judgement should be made. There could be several factors that contributed to the rise in the prices. Based on what the founders said in this article, it sounds like the company is looking to make a huge profit. It is unethical to do it for selfish reasons. After all, the reason for medications is to cure or help a person. I understand a company has to stay in business and pay off expenses, but to raise it this much is absurd. Also, the company promised to lower the price but has not. In conclusion, there is more to know about this situation with the drug company.
    Reena Harkishnani 645

  50. In my personal opinion, government regulation over drug pricing is only a partial answer to the issue of drug pricing problems in our country. While regulations could help create more affordable options for life saving drugs, any advancement in drug options would be severely impacted because of the lack of incentive to create new and more effective treatments. Unfortunately, capitalism is the basis that our country is built on and without government sanctioned incentives new drugs would likely not be developed as often as they are now. That being said, the actions of Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals are an extreme example of unethical capitalism at work. Unethical capitalism could be more easily listed as selfish. The founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals is more interested in making money than the lives/survival of others; he is, in my eyes, a modern evil.

  51. Drugs and pills can be expensive nowadays. If the drug is effective enough to cure the given disease, why raise the price? It will be almost impossible to afford the tablet and could even result in death if they don’t get the proper treatment. Martin Shkreli stated the only reason to increase the pricing of the drug was to make long term success in the company and high profits. It’s a given that the patients health is not the number one priority to Turing Pharmaceuticals. Making money during the release of a new medicine is one thing, but if you’re going to make it too expensive, patients can’t get the right treatment they need to prolong their life. It is unethical for Turing Pharmaceuticals to raise the price to make profits. Medicine’s should be available to everyone and not at a high price due to deaths. Martin stated that the price would go down but no statement was given as to how much. $750 dollars is a little outrageous considering the insurance is a hassle and most people are already in medical debt from previous experiences.

    PHI 1600 #645

  52. I feel that the biggest issue is that this drug isn’t accessible to everyone who is in need of it, due to the lack of government informant. Pricing on this drug needs to be resolved so that it can be sold and given to those in need of the drug. I feel that ethics is would side with the fact of this drug being priced too high unethical, why sell a drug and create a drug to help others if it is unattainable to those specifically in need of the drug itself? This makes no logical sense to me. I feel while owners and creators raise the price of such medication, chances of it actually helping other decrease due to the inaccessibility acquired by high pricing.
    I feel the best solution is to find a cheaper way to make the drug, and have it sold at much less of a rate to those in need. If the drug is made in a cheaper way and sold cheaper, with the amount made verse the price they would be making many anyways. Yes, less money than if sold for more money, but the drug would be a bigger hit on the market anyways, if looking at it in a business perspective.
    I feel that government officials should also possibly get involved to resolve the unfulfilled promise the boss has made to lower the pricing. I feel the company and its integrity here is more important that the money made by the company.

  53. I feel it is unethical for Turing Pharmaceuticals to raise the drug price almost 5,000 percent. However, Turing Pharmaceuticals did buy the rights to the drug Daraprim. That being said, I think the company should be allowed to alter the price to some extent. The amount the company raised the price is unethical because the tablets could be the difference between life and death and if a patient is unable to afford the tablets, there’s a possibility of them dying.

    It is for that reason that I think the government should regulate drug pricing. Regulate, not control. There should be rules established to prevent price jackings like the one from this scenario. I think regulation by government is a fair solution because the drug companies could still run their business (yes, unfortunately, these are businesses and not non-profit organizations) how they prefer and the general population would be grateful that the government is preventing unfair pricing.

    SECTION 996

  54. It is definitely unethical to take advantage of those who are the least advantaged, a patient taking a certain medication knowing that it is the cure for their illness should be the highest and utmost price that a pharmaceutical company should get. Unfortunately, that is not how things really work in real life. I understand that it costs a lot money to actually come up with the idea of a drug and it also costs a ton to experiment that new drug. Still, it does not make any sense to jack the price of a certain drug that is already in the market, not like it is new or anything, almost 5000 percent, that is what I call highway robbery. If we put things into perspective then I would be ok with a small rise in prices or even a new drug that is introduced to the market with a higher price tag than average, but it just does not make any sense from a pharmaceutical company to bump the price of a pill from $13.5 to $750. Yes they are in the business to make money and to cover their cost and gain profit but they are not going to get away with ripping people off to do that. # 645

  55. Pharmaceutical should not be controlled or regulated by the government. The federal government and it’s purposes were laid out in the constitution; Defend the shores, Establish a system of currency, Protect individual rights, etc…

    Amendment 10 of the US Constitution states that; “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” The federal government has no right or need to be involved in the pharmaceutical industry.

  56. I think that the prices of drugs doesn’t need to be raised. If you raise the price on drugs that patients need than they can’t afford them. For example, if someone has cancer or AIDS or any other major illness and they need medication but they can’t afforded it so they aren’t getting the medication to help them feel better. I don’t think that the government should regulate the prices on drugs because they could price them way to high and no one would be able to afforded them. If the government would put a good price on the drug than I could see them getting involved. Martin Shkreil is unethical because he didn’t follow through with lowering the price of the drugs and still hasn’t. He never said what the price would be or when he would do it. So those people who was waiting to have the lower price of the drug is still waiting for that to be done. If this situation came up, I do believe the government should get it involved and see if they can somehow fix the probable without making the price go up even more. So I believe the government should get involved but it depends on the situation. 995

  57. Martin Shkreli has every right to capitalize on the drug Daraprim and according to laws in place I could understand why the government would choose not to regulate on this matter. However, his selfish reasoning is very unethical. To capitalize on the strength of one’s health is unethical. An even though we all tend to do it (including myself), to capitalize in general is unethical (in my opinion). Profiting for selfish gain is clearly the name of the game here with this tyrant. What makes it all unethical to me is the way the system of how the world works. For instance the fact that AIDS is speculated to be a man/lab made disease by those in “power” as a form of depopulation especially during the 80’s primarily targeted to black communities along with the typical causes of cancer such as what we consume (factory farm meats, nicotine and tobacco, gmo processed foods, etc) to even obtain the thought of capitalizing on treatment is beyond unethical, it’s sickening.

  58. Raising the price of this drug certainly unethical. The price of a drug should definitely be raised if there is a limited supply; that’s how supply and demand words. Martin Shkreliis taking advantage of people that are in desperate situations by raising the price by 5,000 percent. The government should get involved only because citizen’s lives are at risk. The fact that this company openly talks about how it’s trying to be hugely profitable rather than saving lives is sickening.

  59. I think that the government should regulate pharmaceutical drug pricing. From the example above, a 5,000% increase in the price of one tablet is a lot, especially for people who do not make very much money. People cannot help it if their immune systems are not very well, or if they get cancer at some point in their life. What is the point in making medications for these people impossible to afford? I think it is very unethical for Turing Pharmaceuticals to raise the price of Daraprim, even if they did not violate any antitrust laws. It is egocentric of the company to raise this price because they are only thinking of themselves rather than putting all of the stakeholders in mind. I understand that these companies are only trying to help themselves by making the prices higher, but there is a more ethical way of doing this. For example, the Pharmaceuticals could have doubled the price. This would result in twice the income from the drug, and it would be much cheaper than the $750 that it is now. This would benefit the Pharmaceuticals, and although it would not necessarily benefit patients who need these drugs, it would still be much more affordable than the alternative. This approach uses utilitarianism, which states that actions are right if they benefit the majority. I believe that this would be a much more ethical approach to changing the prices of drugs. I think that if the government starts to regulate pharmaceutical drug pricing, it is possible that prices will not increase too drastically.

  60. Drug pricings by pharmaceutical companies should not be regulated by the government. Pharmaceutical companies are already at a disadvantage when it comes to the high costs involved to research and develop new drugs. Companies have to spend millions of dollars and years on research and development to create new drugs that are either approved or denied by the FDA. Unfortunately, this has cause pharmaceutical companies to only fund research that promises profit. The companies have to take a lot of factors into account and that is the reason why new drug prices are so high. However, Martin Shkreli raising the price of Daraprim, a drug that has been out for sixty-two years, is extremely unethical.

    Martin Shkreli’s company did not originally fund the development of Daraprim and has no involvement besides acquiring the rights. He admitted the reason of increasing the drug price by five thousand percent was for profit. Because Shkreli prioritized profit over providing an affordable drug, he has forced doctors to use other treatments that are not as effective. Patients now have to make a difficult decision of playing exorbitant prices for treatment or risk receiving a treatment that is not as effective. Shkreli is endangering people’s lives in an attempt to bring in a bigger profit.

    It is up to the pharmaceutical companies to prioritize the people they are developing drugs for instead of profits. Regulation from government might cause more negative consequences than positive ones. Unless the federal government can start developing new drugs, than the private sector will have control over pricing.

  61. Should pharmaceutical drug pricing be regulated by the government?
    Florida has specific Price Gouging laws. Here is the state’s definition*:
    Florida Statute 501.160 states that during a state of emergency, it is unlawful to sell, lease, offer to sell, or offer for lease essential commodities, dwelling units, or self-storage facilities for an amount that grossly exceeds the average price for that commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of the state of emergency, unless the seller can justifying the price by showing increases in its prices or market trends. Examples of necessary commodities are food, ice, gas, and lumber.
    I think a similar law should be put into place for medication. Suffering from an auto immune disease is as devastating to a man’s system as a state of emergency would be to a person’s wellbeing, so a comparable law should take effect. If the Turing Pharma pricing is way out of sync with medications that are similar in effect than I think government regulation is in order. A Government’s purpose is to protect its people, and part of this should be protecting its people from reckless pursuit of capitalism at the cost of lives.

    Assuming the Turing Pharmaceuticals did not in fact violate any antitrust laws and simply raised the price of Daraprim, is this unethical?
    This is a great example of “ethics is larger than law.” Screwing over people who need medication to live is completely legal, but it is unethical. It seems like this guy earned an A+ for making money and WF for altruism (he didn’t even finish the class, he failed out of it halfway through the semester). This drug treats an infection. So say it takes a week’s time to treat, twice a day. That’s $189. Doubling the cost of the pills ($378) would hurt a lot of people. It would cause them to have to re-budget and re-prioritize. Life is the most important thing though, so they’d probably make it. It might even spur more research into how to prevent the infection in the first place. But multiplying the price by 5000 renders the medication an impossible option. And If you knock your target audience on their rears, I’m not sure who would even buy your product, so you’re hurting your company and the consumer, aren’t you? People fighting AIDS already face huge hospital debt, and this is just a ploy to raise that debt (by $10,500 by my hypothetical scenario).


  62. The Ethical issue is that the founder of a Pharmaceutical company would rather cause millions of deaths in order to raise a profit of “five thousand.” Yes I do believe that drug pricing should be regulated by the government. This drug has been available 62 years, yet to date, Martin Shkreli hasn’t lowered the price of the drug Daraprim. He would rather continually sell a drug at a high percentage than to drop the cost and help thousands suffering with parasitic infections. He is a unethical, cynical egoist. Quoting from the blog, “I’m trying to create a big drug company, a successful company, a profitable drug company. We are trying to flourish.” The mindset is for the greater goods instead of number of people. The real question that should be imposed is ” Does the government really have this nation’s best interest or would just continually be deprived because of greed? Money is the root of all evil and the pioneer of this country! No one should be starve internally because they don’t have enough funds to purchase their medication. Coming from first hand experience I understand the price in drug increase. I was purchasing my medicine, Azathioprine, at my local pharmacy paying 60$ and then one day I went to go purchase it and it was 105$. It’s sad to think the greater number of goods more important than saving millions of lives. Saving lives is not the motive anymore, it’s the greed of money.

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  63. Absolutely, drug pricing should be federally regulated. Medicare and Medicaid programs are federally regulated. While Medicare and Medicaid are federally regulated health care programs, and not corporations there should still be a cap at the least on the allowable increase in the pricing of pharmaceuticals. Simply, because it is unethical. However, it is common practice in all aspects of business. Furniture has an approximate 110% mark up. Dental implants, fillings, prosthetics etc. have mark ups up to 200%. Perhaps comparing medicine and furniture seems a bit like apples and oranges. The truth of the matter is that they both fall in the same category, for profit business. Health care is a business! Plain and simple. So many unethical practices happen in the health care industry that it is exactly that UNETHICAL and frankly shameful! A lot of primary care physicians who accept insurance plans that require their patients to have a fee-based referral to see a specialist, obtain imaging, or other testing that can’t be billed by the primary care are
    often very reluctant to refer their patients for much needed, often life saving exams, because they do not want to pay the referral fee imposed on the physician by the insurance company. Patients are completely unaware that their doctor has to pay this referral fee and therefore are completely unaware that they are being neglected in that manner. Such is the same practice with pharmaceuticals and physicians. Where an old fashioned dose of amoxicillin may remedy your sore throat, your physician may very well write you a prescription for a new antibiotic that you have never heard of. Unfortunately, this may be done with no regard for the side effects to you from this drug, or the fact that it is unaffordable for you. The bottom line is, it is a more expensive alternative to amoxicillin and as a result of writing the script your physician may get a little kick back from the pharmaceutical company. Of course all of these practices are unethical, because with ethics there must be a good moral foundation. Demand creates an ability to price some drugs as high as the sky. Health and dental care are increasingly omitting the poor and middle class. It is my opinion that this is not only unethical but un-American as well.

  64. I think that giving the government control over pricing is ethical if it is to protect people in cases like this, where a big company is trying to profit off of dying people. I don’t think they should be able to fluctuate prices crazily, however I think they should be able to assign ceilings that prices cannot exceed. I think they should be able to say that you can’t be able to increase a drug’s price over a certain percent, like maybe 100%. But raising a price by 5000 percent is insane. Although America is a capitalist nation, there just isn’t any reason to even sell drugs if they’re going to make them that expensive. They might as well sell hospice packages if they’re going to have outrageous prices.
    They especially should not be able to raise the price of a drug they didn’t even create. It might be understandable if a scientist who worker years to create this medicine wanted to sell it expensively to a company, because they deserve the compensation. This is telling anyone in the 1% that they can buy a monopoly on anything and then make it nearly impossible for anyone to buy it or even replicate it. I think it would be different if it wasn’t something that people needed, however it’s for survival. There’s no logical reason why any medical sales product should exceed its sale price by 5000%. If the government doesn’t over turn this than they’re just as bad as Martin Shkreli.

  65. I think that the government should not get too involved in the pricing of the drugs. The government could set a price range for a certain drug and the companies should stay within that price range. Or regulate what percentage drug companies are able to raise their price in any given period of time, in order to protect the consumers and medical professionals. But the government should still let private drug companies name their price because these companies need to make money to stay afloat and continue bettering their drugs. Hearing that drug companies can raise the price of their drug so dramatically shows how little the corporate world care about the consumers. Companies should be fair with their pricing. It’s unsettling to hear that drug companies would rather make a profit than save lives.

  66. How I feel about pharmaceutical companies I believe they should be looked over carefully before promoting and selling merchandise. This considered an unethical issue because drug product is getting sold to people just for them to sale the product themselves. That’s completely backwards and should actually be looked into to see if the person really needs the drug. We have a lot of drug addicts because they started off on pain medication that was pushed by the pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies are dishonest, because they are persuading doctors to proscribe there medicine to patients, which isn’t good at all. They should always check to see if the patient is allergic to the drug, and they should also check for the side effects of the drug, because the side effect could be the worst part of the drug. I honestly believe we have a lot of problems now because of the pharmaceutical companies. The pharmaceutical companies need to get on the role, and stop pushing their unwanted merchandise.

    PHI 1600 #644

  67. I do believe that the government should monitor and regulate the pharmaceutical companies on their drug pricing which they already do. I know from experience because my husband has been in the pharmaceutical business for over 30 years when a patient is not able to pay for a drug, the pharmaceutical companies that he has worked for, will do everything in their power to help the patient obtain the drug, through samples or assistance program. I went on the Turing Pharmaceutical’s website and it stated the following: “We pledge that no patient needing DARAPRIM will be denied access.” They also offer various ways to assistant in obtaining Daraprim at a lower cost.
    I know it does not seem fair to such a large increase in the pricing, but I am glad we live in a country where we can still create a similar drug at a lower cost.

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