In what may go down in history as the textbook example of how dangerous an unregulated free market can be when a company decides it wants to be greedy, Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York hiked the cost of a powerful drug used to treat people with life-threatening illnesses like AIDS and cancer by over 5,000 percent overnight. Why? Because it will make the start-up company’s investors rich – and there is nothing patients and doctors could do about it.
Daraprim is used to treat a nasty parasite that attacks those suffering from ailments that have compromised their immune systems. As such, it can be a vital treatment in keeping those patients alive and comfortable. The price for Daraprim had been the costly, but not unaffordable, at $13.50 per pill, but health experts and patients alike were shocked to discover that the sole company that manufactures the drug shot the price up to $750 per pill in one day.