Sunday, 15 December 2013

How US Big Pharma price gouges AIDS drugs

This picture caught my eye this morning. It's from 1996:

Given that so very many people have died, and are dying, in places like Africa because the drugs are so expensive poor countries can't afford them, this sort of stuff is completely immoral. A drug company used AIDS to mark up this previously well known and used drug by 1,200%.  
According to the activist group, during most of the time that Oxandralone was on the market, it was sold very cheaply, at a cost of $0.26 to $0.37 U.S. for a 2.5 milligram pill. It was withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1989 because its manufacturer feared bad publicity due to its occasional non-prescription use by athletes. In December of 1995, BTG began marketing Oxandrolone for use in AIDS-associated wasting, but at a cost of $3.75 for the same 2.5 milligram pill, or $10,950 US per year at the lowest recommended dose for AIDS (20 mg per day). 

"Something is terribly wrong when a formerly inexpensive drug is marked up more than 1200% to be sold to people with AIDS," said Lisa Penyak of ACT UP Philadelphia. This the clearest example of price gouging. We know what the drug's price was before it was marketed for AIDS, and we know its price now, and the markup is unconscionable. more

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