It seems the American public has become increasingly disgusted by skyrocketing pharmaceuticals – starting with the antics of future jailbird Martin Shkreli, who dramatically boosted the price of a lifesaving drug for autoimmune disorders back in 2015. And let’s not forget the drama around Mylan, the company who produces the EpiPen, and their slow hike of the epinephrine injection device 16 times over eight years, until a 2-pack reached $600 and Mylan’s profit margin went from 8.8 percent to over 60 percent.
The latest pharmaceutical villain is Mallinckrodt, and last week the Federal Trade Commission announced a deal with the company to settle charges of anti-competitive practices. The drug in question is called H.P. Acthar Gel, and is used to treat infantile spasms and multiple sclerosis. According to an article on CNN Money, Mallinckrodt’s U.S. subsidiary purchased the drug in 2001 and proceeded to slowly raise it by 85,000 percent. A complaint filed by the New York attorney general’s office said that this drug was typically used in lifesaving situations and that one course of treatment can cost well over $100,000.
Through the settlement, the company will pay a $100 million fine and give up its right to Synacthem, another drug designed to do the same thing. It seems Mallinckrodt aggressively outbid other companies to gain a monopoly by acquiring Synacthem in 2013, creating a monopoly.
President Donald Trump recently said the drug industry has been “getting away with murder” and that he has plans to change how the country bids on drugs.
I’m Anna Wells and this is IEN Now.