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Price of a Parasite Treatment Drug Spikes $736.50 Overnight

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Daraprim, a drug that treats a common parasite, jumped in price from $13.50 a tablet to $750, a spike that has angered members of the infectious disease community.

In August, Daraprim was acquired by the startup Turing Pharmaceuticals, which quickly bumped up the price, the New York Times reports. The drug is used for people with compromised immune systems, like those with AIDS or cancer, as well as infants and pregnant women.

Turing founder Martin Shkreli told the Times that the drug is used so rarely that its health care impact is very small and the money earned by Turing will go toward developing better treatments.

Still, for those who need the treatment, the annual cost will jump significantly. “This is a tremendous increase,” Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicine Association, told USA Today.

The price change for Daraprim is not necessarily an outlier. Drug pricing has made headlines recently as other drugs that have been on the market for years have gone up. Earlier this month a report from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review said two newly approved cholesterol drugs were over-priced for the benefits they provide.

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