Massive profits from life or death situations

Columnist Taylor Berghoff

Columnist Taylor Berghoff

“One billion dollars here we come.”
These were the words sent out in an email by Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who infamously raised the price of the drug Daraprim, used to treat the life-threatening condition, Toxoplasmosis or acute malaria, from $13.50 per pill to a staggering $750 per pill.
Knowing there wouldn’t be any competition, Shkreli purposefully bought Turing Pharmaceuticals with the intention of raising the prices and making a fortune.
This exploitation is not uncommon and has been happening for ages, with monopolies taking advantage in any way that will generate the most profit.
It’s one thing for companies to monopolize upon material items, but when it comes to society’s health and well-being, it’s a different story.
That’s why the price hike on Daraprim has seen such outrage. Daraprim treats serious parasitic infections and helps prevent HIV patients from getting certain infections. The price for one bottle of Daraprim went from $1,700 per bottle to $75,000 per bottle overnight. Numbers as drastic as that call for a double-take.
This isn’t the only company in the pharmaceutical arena exploiting its customers.
The price jump of the EpiPen, an auto-injector which administors epinephrine during severe allergic reactions, caused an uproar after the cost shot up by over 400 percent. Patients who were originally paying about $100 for a 2-pack of EpiPens now have to fork out $600 for the same thing. The reason? Because they can.
The EpiPen isn’t a privilege, it’s a necessity. For those who need it, it’s life or death. With the greed of these companies overshadowing their true purpose, the health and safety of their customers are at stake.
No mother,  child or teacher should live in fear of what could happen if an EpiPen is needed but not around. Pharmaceutical companies are playing God with the lives of others.
The public will not stay silent on this matter and is now seeking justice. This November, Proposition 61 will be on the ballot. Proposition 61, or the Drug Price Standards Initiative, prohibits state agencies “from paying more for any prescription drug than the lowest price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the same drug,” according to California’s Official Voter Information Guide.
Proposition 61 essentially puts a cap on how much these companies can charge. The reason costs are compared to Veterans Affairs is because the department usually pays considerably less for drugs, about 20 to 25 percent less.
This proposition will work to keep the money-hungry CEOs at bay and prevent them from these blatant acts of manipulation and exploitation.
Proposition 61 is already a huge topic of interest. According to Ballotpedia.org, the proposition not only is one of the most expensive measures on the ballot, but more money may go into this ballot than any other ballot in the history of California.
According to the website, the money raised for Proposition 61 has reached over $96 million.
The passion is evident and with support like that, there’s no reason to believe this measure won’t be passed. Yet the fact that this ballot measure is even being debated is shocking.
No one person or company should be able to determine the fate of society.
The health and safety of society should remain the core focus and monopolies must have stricter regulations.
Proposition 61 will reign in the corrupt and immoral CEOs and will stop them from stealing money out of the pockets of citizens. If passed, this proposition has the potential to save lives.

 

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