Price Of $750 Lifesaving Drug For HIV And Cancer Patients Will Decrease After Public Outrage

The drug used to cost $13.50 before the huge price hike.

Martin Shkreli, 32, is currently America's most widely criticized man. After news broke that his company Turing Pharmaceuticals hiked the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill, substantial public outrage has been focused on Shkreli.

But after much Twitter back-and-forth between the unapologetic CEO and his many critics, Shkreli told ABC News in an interview on Tuesday evening that his company would substantially lower the price of the drug.

"We've agreed to lower the price on Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit," he told ABC News. "We think these changes will be welcomed."

Shkreli did not say how much exactly the price decrease will be, but he did admit that it was in response to the widespread anger at his company's move. "Yes, it is absolutely a reaction [to the public]," he told NBC News. "There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action; I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people."

The CEO previously defended the absurd price increase by claiming the profits it makes from Daraprim's sales will be put to research for other treatments.

Shkreli also argued that its previous $13.50 price tag was unprofitable and that Turing had to turn a profit on the drug.

Daraprim is used to treat parasite infections most commonly found in compromised immune systems due to cancer treatments or HIV infections. The drug has been around for about 62 years, but Turing purchased the rights to it in August and quickly increased its price by more than 5,000 percent. 

Under the increase, patients would have to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for the medication instead of its previous price tag of about $1,000. It puts Daraprim out of reach for many people who need it. (Already, Americans spend more money on medication than in any other country.)

Since the New York Times reported on the hike, Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals have been widely slammed by medical groups and Internet users, the latter of which the 32-year-old has responded harshly to on Twitter. 

Shkreli has since made his Twitter account private. 

Cover image via iStock/Aslan Alphan