Nirmal Mulye, the founder and president of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, recently told the Financial Times that his company had a “moral requirement” 1 to sell a specific drug”2at the highest price.” The drug, an antibiotic mixture called nitrofurantoin, was raised from about $500 per bottle to more than $2,300. The WHO calls the drug an “essential” medicine for lower urinary tract infections.
Mulye said, “I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can, to sell the product for the highest price. 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.” 3
“According to the Financial Times, the executive defended ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, who was once dubbed the ‘most hated man in America’ after his company raised the price of an AIDS drug by more than 5,000% in 2015. Shkreli was recently sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud due to mismanaging money at his hedge funds.” 4
1/2 Regarding @FT story today @bydavidcrow; there’s no moral imperative to price gouge and take advantage of patients. FDA will continue to promote competition so speculators and those with no regard to public health consequences can’t take advantage of patients who need medicine
— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@SGottliebFDA) September 11, 2018
The Trump administration has pledged to tackle the issue of rising drug prices by increasing competition, reducing regulations, and changing incentives in the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the Financial Times, Mulye followed up with a LinkedIn message after their initial interview calling the FDA “incompetent and corrupt.” (Although we feel like Mulye is a plague, we don’t disagree with him about the FDA!)