Martin Shkreli, aka “Pharma Bro” or, more appropriately as the biggest assh*le, looks like he’s once again going to price out the poor from receiving treatment — this time for the third most common parasite disease in the world.
Chagas, or “kissing bug disease,” affects 300,000 immigrants in the U.S. and 8 million in Latin America. As of now there is no charge for the treatment in the U.S. since the CDC can obtain benznidazole for free. In Latin America, the treatment can be purchased for $60 to $100.
Shkreli’s new company, KaloBios, has submitted benzindazole for FDA approval for chagas. If KalBios gets control of the drug, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show the price can go up to $100,000 for a single course of treatment.
“If this price hike were to happen, it would be a complete disaster for Chagas patients in the United States,” said Rachel Cohen, the regional executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Disease Initiative in North America. “People affected by this disease in the United States are poor, are marginalized, have very limited access to health care to begin with. It would be catastrophic.”
To learn more about Martin Shkreli control over benznidazole in The Atlantic, click here.