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5,000% Hike for Drug Used by AIDS, Cancer Patients

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Published on : Sep 21, 2015

A common parasite that cannot be fought off by a weakened immune system has become even more difficult to eliminate from the body. Turing Pharmaceuticals has increased the cost of this drug by 5,000% recently.

The life-saving drug, Daraprim, is used to treat an infection of toxoplasmosis, the second-most common infection that seriously affects patients suffering from either cancer or AIDS, the afflictions that are heavily detrimental to a patient’s immune system. The drug is also included in the WHO List of Essential Medicines.

Turing Pharmaceuticals, a New York-based drug company had bought the rights for Daraprim in August and has increased the cost of the drug from US$13.50 per pill to US$750 per pill. They bought the rights for the drug from Impax Labs.

The HIVMA and the IDSA wrote an open letter to Turing Pharma, in which they state that the sudden and huge cost increase on Daraprin is highly unjustified and cannot be afforded by the common person.

According to the IDSA, toxoplasmosis can hamper brain functioning and can eventually cause greater brain damage and cancer.

The NGOs also stated that a cancer or AIDS patient who weigh less than 60 kilos incur an expense of over US$336,000, while those weighing more than 60 kilos will require to spend over US$634,500.

Statistically, more than 60 mn U.S. citizens might be carriers of toxoplasmosis, which is a disease that is usually transmitted by eating raw or undercooked meat. Other sources include contact with the feces of an infected cat and drinking unclean water.

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