Turing Pharmaceuticals Chief Executive Martin Shkreli faces justifiable and widespread outrage over increasing the price of the HIV drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

Quite possibly the most hated man in America right now, Shkreli is facing further criticism for his pricing decisions at his previous pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, where the price of cystinuria drug Thiola reportedly increased by almost 2,000%. The medication is taken by children for a rare kidney disease.

The Independent reports:

During his time at the firm from 2011 to his resignation in October last year, it acquired the rights to sell Thiola, which is used to treat cystinuria.

Sufferers may take the drug for life, starting in early childhood, in an effort to manage the rare and incurable disease that afflicts about 20,000 patients in the United States.

It causes sufferers’ bodies to constantly create kidney stones, causing excruciating pain, severe organ damage and in some cases, death.

Thiola was approved to treat cystinuria by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1988 and was acquired by Retrophin in May 2014.

Some patients must take between five to 10 of the tablets every day.

Benjamin Davies, the Assistant Professor of Urology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, wrote for The Street in September 2014 that the firm increased the price from $1.50 (£1) per pill to more than $30 (£20) for the same product – an increase of almost 2,000 per cent.

“As a physician, treating cystinuria patients is extremely difficult,” he wrote. “You can remove a kidney stone one day only to have the patient show up the next month with more kidney stones. Cystinuria patients are some of the bravest you will ever meet.”

Read more here.

–Posted by Roisin Davis

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