Local man is outraged after life-saving drug skyrockets from $13 to $750 a pill

Chattanooga, TN (WDEF) – Millions are still outraged after the life-saving drug Daraprim shot up in price by more than 5,000 percent. The drug was bought by CEO Martin Shkreli of Turing pharmaceuticals, when the price jumped from $13.50 a pill to a jaw -dropping $750 a pill overnight.

"At first he didn’t seem to care," said local HIV/AIDs advocate Mark Grantham, "Then he said he would lower the price. He didn’t say what he would lower to, but he said he would lower it."

After living with HIV for more than half his life, Grantham is proud to be a voice of reason for others living with the virus. And after 31 years of treatment, he said he’s finally down to just one pill a day.

Grantham said although he doesn’t need the pill anymore, there are millions out there who still desperately do, and he would like to see something done about it, "There needs to be tighter regulation because we all deserve health care. Healthcare is a right."

Daraprim is a life saving drug used not only for HIV patients but also for cancer patients and pregnant women who contract cat scratch fever. "So if you have a compromised immune system, and you need that pill to treat toxoplasmosis, you are most likely unable to get it," said Grantham.

Daraprim isn’t the only drug to increase their price in recent months. According to a recent report from the University of Minnesota, the average cost of brand-name medications rose 13 percent in 2013.

Categories: Chattanooga, Health, Local News

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