In retrospect, Martin Shkreli, the ex-hedge funder Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who price-jacked the AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a tablet (5400%) shortly after taking over the company, says he wishes he had hiked the price even further, Capital New York reports:
“I think I could have it raised it higher and made even more profit,” Shkreli said Thursday morning at a Forbes Healthcare Summit in Manhattan.
The controversial CEO explained he has one job — to maximize return for his investors — and nothing, certainly not some bad press, would deter him.
“Our shareholders expect you should make as much money as possible — that’s the ugly truth,” he said. “That’s part of what capitalist America is what is all about.”
Shkreli later promised to drop the price after feeling the heat from negative headlines about his greedy ways, but later reneged, saying the company will only provide discounts of up to 50 percent, for hospitals.
According to Dr. Carlos del Rio, chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, the drug, which treats toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic infection that affects people with weak immune systems including those with HIV, can be “made for pennies.”
As a result of the decision, the huge payments by hospitals will drive up future treatment and insurance costs.