400% price hike for drugs is ‘moral requirement’

Drug company CEO calls 400 percent price hike ‘moral requirement’ – By Jessie Hellmann – 09/11/18

Nostrum Laboratories, based in Missouri, raised the price of nitrofurantoin last month from $474.74 a bottle to $2,393, according to the Financial Times newspaper. The drug treats urinary tract and bladder infections.

CEO Nirmal Mulye said the price hike was based on market dynamics, according to the newspaper. I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can … to sell the product for the highest price,” he said.

And here we doctors and patients are, powerless, with our capitalist system and its primary directive of profit-seeking controlling much of our healthcare. 

As our government is spending increasing amount on healthcare for older citizens, we’re allowing public corporations to step into this expensive, yet necessary, “social benefit” and accumulate obscene profits from our tax dollars.

Mulye said the branded version of the drug increased in price to $2,800.

“The point here is the only other choice is the brand at the higher price. It is still a saving regardless of whether it is a big one or not,” he said.

I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders,” Mulye said.

“If he’s the only one selling it, then he can make as much money as he can,” he added. “This is a capitalist economy, and if you can’t make money, you can’t stay in business.”

Mulye’s comments prompted swift backlash from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

There’s no moral imperative to price gouge and take advantage of patients,” Gottlieb tweeted.

Yes, but he can’t do anything about it because he has no power over these corporations. It seems no one does.

“FDA will continue to promote competition so
speculators and those with no regard to public health consequences can’t take advantage of patients who need medicine.

The FDA can do nothing about the stock market where these new giant healthcare corporations are reaping colossal profits by charging patients and tax-payers obscene amounts.

21 thoughts on “400% price hike for drugs is ‘moral requirement’

  1. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA

    Just unbelievable. Nitrofurantoin used to be literally pennies per dose. It’s not even an antibiotic–just a yellow dye that happens to be concentrated in the bladder, and it stops the reproduction of certain bacteria that colonize the bladder and can cause infection. I look forward to seeing this creep go the way of Shkrelli.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      Money is now the most important factor in just about everything that happens in this country. Darwinian capitalism has broken free of all societal restraint and is tearing our country apart (or just corrupting it beyond all recognition).

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Frances Gail Knous

    I have had some form of opioid medicine since I was 13 years old in 1969. I developed RA, Lupus. MCTD, and over 10 plus autoimmune diseases. I can no longer. I have to wear two leg braces to be able walk. I love my family and I want as many years that God gives me. I had two aunts that died of RA. My pain is so intense. My husband has taken over all my duties. Please tell me how I am going to live? Please help me. 1-432-853-4885 please tell me what to go.

    Like

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I’m horrified at your situation, but not sure I can help. I already know that emergency rooms won’t help because they assume we’re all drug seeking. (Well, of course we are – we need doctors to do their jobs and make sure our extreme pain gets medicated!)

      If you’re currently without medication and in crisis, all I can think of is to have your husband take you to a psychiatric facility and say you’re suicidal due to your uncontrolled pain. I’m not sure what they’d do, but it seems they’d be obligated to medicate you with something that makes life tolerable again. But you’d be placing yourself completely under their control, and I’m not sure they have “what’s best for the patient” as their top priority. I don’t trust them, but it might buy you some time until this madness corrects itself eventually.

      In any case, you should try to make as much “noise” as possible: call your health insurance plan and demand *effective* pain relief, call your local newspapers and TV stations with your story (more newspapers are staring to write about the plight of pain patients), call your congresspeople, call your state’s medical board… and ask each one who else you can call.

      I know it’s almost impossible to summon the strength to do all this, to communicate with strangers and force them to hear what they don’t want to, but you have nothing left to lose. At least you could vent your distress and outrage to people who are involved in this horrible torture of pain patients.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  3. canarensis

    Good god….this is truly obscene. This worship of money as god, bucks uber alles, is going to destroy this country utterly. It’s just too bad that the rich despots will still be around to feed off the corpse and won’t be destroyed along with the rest.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
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  11. canarensis

    I’m currently re-reading the great William Manchester’s 2 volume “The Glory and the Dream,” a narrative history of the US from 1932 to 1972. He’s not only one of the greatest writers & historians of all time, but it’s an incredibly readable –& horrifying– work. I just finished with his descriptions of the 30s, and the fight to rein in the completely (up to that point) unregulated business tycoons. It’s so utterly similar to the attitudes of today’s business moguls, it’s horrifying. The duPonts & Morgans & such truly believed it was their God-given right –heck, their DUTY– to wring every single possible cent out of everything & everyone, and anyone who even hinted that child sweatshops and working tens of thousands of people to death was maybe not ideal were condemned as vile Commies who were out to destroy America. They considered anyone not rich to be pretty much subhuman and deserving of any horrible thing that happened to them.

    The book opens with the little-known but appalling story of how Douglas MacArthur (with President Hoover’s quiet backing, tho Mac definitely went farther & defied orders to stop) rolled on thousands of starving & disabled WWI vets (& their wives & children) with tanks & machine guns. The vets were supposed to get bonuses for their service, which were to be given in 1945 (“gee, thanks, government!”) & were quietly & peacefully asking that the bonuses be given then, in the worst of the Depression, when they desperately needed them. It forcefully brought to mind the enforced torture of hundreds of thousands of vets now being denied decent medical care (including pain relief). The US has a wonderful history of asking people to fight & die for it, then turning on the vets like a rabid dog when the vets want something in return –something they should be getting, like decent health care & contractually promised bonuses.

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