Pharmaceutical companies use the weakest, and frequently the laziest, excuses for jacking up the prices of their life-saving drugs. In the end, no matter what they say, it is about money. Their job, as they see it, is to make money. If they keep 100 people alive or 1,000 or 1,000,000,000, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that number on the bottom line on their accounting sheet. If their goal is to make $1,000,000, and they need to sell a pill for $1,000,000 apiece for the only 10 babies who need it in order to achieve that goal, then that is what they will do. Most people, faced with that statement, would say that is immoral. Most people don’t know shit about making that kind of money, baby! Just ask Nostrum Laboratories’ Nirmal Mulye. In an interview published in the Financial Times, he had this to say about everyone making Martin Shkreli out to be a bad guy for raising the cost of one of his own company’s drugs through the roof.
“I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders [...] If he’s the only one selling it then he can make as much money as he can,” said Mr Mulye. “This is a capitalist economy and if you can’t make money you can’t stay in business.”
What is Mulye defending? Well, his “Missouri-based” company, Nostrum Laboratories, just jacked up the price of their drug nitrofurantoin from $474.75 to $2,392. According to the World Health Organization, nitrofurantoin is what they classify as an “essential drug.” It treats bladder and urinary tract infections. Mulye wasn’t done giving a lesson in sociopathy as he continued to defend Martin Shkreli as being within his rights: “We have to make money when we can. The price of iPhones goes up, the price of cars goes up, hotel rooms are very expensive.”
According to Mulye, Nostrum was working the market against Casper Pharma, which makes another version of the same drug and had recently raised its price to $2,800. So you see, Mulye is still offering it up for less! Morality! The guy is a saint!