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Turing backs down on Daraprim drug pricing

September 23, 2015, 8:44 AM UTC
MSMB Capital Management CIO Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Photograph by Getty Images

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By Nolan Feeney @NolanFeeney

A pharmaceuticals company that raised the price of a drug 5,500% practically overnight says it will now lower its price following an intense backlash from the media, medical profession and the general public.

Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli confirmed the price cut to NBC News on Tuesday but did not say how much the company would reduce the cost of Daraprim.

Early this week, Turing’s decision to raise the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 was the subject of a New York Times story. The drug, which is generically known as pyrimethamine and was acquired by the company acquired in August, is used to treat a serious parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis, which can be life-threatening for those with compromised immune systems. It’s also been used to treat malaria.

Shkreli said the new price will allow the company to break even or make a “small profit” on the drug.

Medical experts had dismissed Shkreli’s arguments as disingenuous.

“We are not in dire need of new drugs for toxoplasmosis right now,” Dr. David Relman, chief of infectious diseases for the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California, told Fortune earlier this week. “There’s no public health need for such. This is simply about greed.”

Laura Lorenzetti contributed to this report.