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Drug to treat HIV could go up 5,000% in price

Posted: 11:29 PM, Sep 22, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-22 23:29:40-04

The CEO of a New York based pharmaceutical company is feeling the heat after he proposed to increase the price of a popular drug by 5,000%.

Earlier this week, 32 year-old Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York publicly proposed raising the price of Daraprim, which he bought the rights to in August. The drug is used to treat parasitic infections in HIV and cancer patients from $13.50 per pill to $750.00 per pill. This sent shock waves through the local HIV and aids community.

"You're putting the fate of millions of people in the palm of your hand," said Mike Deeb, who is living with HIV. "He's completely money and power hungry."

While Deeb lives with HIV, he doesn't have the parasitic infection like other HIV patients, so he doesn't need the pill, but he considers himself an advocate for the HIV community here in Buffalo.

"Why are we taking money out of people's pockets to do this?" said Deeb.

Shkreli received so much backlash from his proposal that he's now considering lowering the price of the drug, but he's not sure by how much.

"I think they have a fundamental misunderstanding of how pharmaceutical companies operate," Shkreli said to ABC News.

His main reason for increasing the price of the drug was because he believed his company was not making enough of a profit.

"We've agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a price that is more affordable so the company can still make a profit, but a very small profit and we think these changes will be welcomed," he said.