Wednesday, October 07, 2015 by Chris Draper
Infectious disease specialists are up in arms about a spike in the price of Daraprim. The drug was acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals in August, which upped the price from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet overnight. The increase in drug prices is driving many people away from Big Pharmaceuticals in the quest to find cheaper, alternative remedies.(1)
Daraprim, known generically as pyrimethamine, is primarily used to treat toxoplasmosis, but can also combat malaria. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite born disease that can cause blindness and even death to babies born to women infected by the disease, as well as AIDS and cancer patients with a compromised immune system.(1)
The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association sent a joint letter to Turing expressing their outrage, stating the price in Daraprim was “unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population” and “unsustainable for the health care system.”(1)
Martin Shkreli, the founder and chief executive of Turing, argued that the drug is scarcely used and won’t have a major impact on the health industry. He stated that the money used to purchase the drug will help fund research for new treatment options for toxoplasmosis. Despite its supposed scarcity, many hospitals in need of Daraprim state they can no longer afford the drug.(1)
A history of drug abuse
This isn’t the first time Big Pharma has unjustly upped the price of drugs. Although much attention has been given to expensive new drugs for cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, little has been said about the surge in the price of older drugs.(1)
Some of the drugs that have increased in price were due to shortages; however, many increased because of corporate greed. Several drug companies resurrected generic drugs of the past and repackaged them as expensive “specialty drugs” in order to make a profit. Big Pharma may not be using drugs, but they’re certainly abusing them.
For example, after Rodelis Therapeutics acquired Cycloserine, a drug used to treat tuberculosis, the company raised the price from $500 for 30 pills to $10,800 for 30 pills. The company did so on the grounds that they needed “to invest to make sure the supply of the drug remained reliable,” according to general manager of Rodelis Scott Spencer. “The company provided the drug free to certain needy patients,” he added.(1)
Valeant Pharmaceuticals committed the same deplorable act after they acquired the heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress, from Marathon Pharmaceuticals. The company raised the price of Isuprel by 525 percent, and the price of Nitropressby by 212 percent. This came after Marathon acquired the drugs and quadrupled their original prices.(1)
Other examples include the antibiotic Doxycycline, which went from $20 a bottle in October 2013 to $1,849 a bottle in April 2014.(1)
To make matters worse, many of these drugs do more harm than good. For example, a call has been issued in the U.K. to ban the anti-malaria drug Lariam on the grounds that it has been linked to severe depression and other mental illnesses. In other words, Larium cuts through the basic, primal instinct of self-preservation.(2)
Save your health and wealth
Fortunately, there are plenty of alternative remedies that can save both your health and wealth. For instance, tea made from wormwood, the Chinese plant that is the source for the world’s most powerful anti-malaria treatment, can be used to treat malaria. The wormwood herb can be purchased for less than $10 online.
Other herbal treatments that are just as effective at combating malaria including quinine, which comes from the cinchona tree. It was the first effective western treatment for Malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
You don’t have to trade your wallet for your health. Their are plenty of other herbs and spices that can boost your health.
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