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Man buys AIDS drug, raises price from Sh1,400 to Sh78,000 overnight, becomes most hated

Health & Science

BEIJING: After raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent and becoming the most hated man on the Internet, Martin Shkreli said he'll lower the cost.

The former hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical executive purchased the rights to Daraprim then hiked the price from around 13.50 US dollars per tablet to 750 US dollars (approximately Sh1,400 to Sh78,000 at the current exchange rate of Sh105 per dollar).

The drug is the only FDA-approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that can prove deadly, especially to those with compromised immune systems, such as those with AIDs, cancer or who are pregnant.

The price hike on Monday immediately led to public outrage. Martin Shkreli, who recently became CEO of a company called Turing Pharmaceuticals, was called evil by Internet users for the jacking up the price of a drug needed by AIDS patients more than 5,000 percent overnight.

According to media report on Wednesday, Martin Shkreli said he later agreed to lower the price on Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit.

Shkreli defended that the profits were necessary for creating a bigger, safer version of the same drug that was first approved by the FDA in 1953. He didn't mention how much he will lower the prices.

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