The drug company CEO called the "most hated man in America right now" by the BBC says he's misunderstood—but that he'll lower the price of Daraprim in response to the firestorm of criticism. "There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action," Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli, who raised the price of the toxoplasmosis drug from $13.50 a pill to $750, tells NBC News. "I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people." The 32-year-old former hedge fund boss says it's "very easy to see a large drug price increase and say, 'Gosh, those people must be gouging,'" but that drug pricing is "very hard stuff" for people to understand.
Shkreli admits that the drug is cheap to make, but he says the price has to cover "the quality control, the regulatory costs, and all of the other things that come with having a drug company." Shkreli is an "odious pharma executive straight out of central casting," but his company is far from the only one buying up relatively obscure drugs and massively increasing the price, writes Dan Diamond at Forbes. The same thing has happened to dozens of other drugs over the last year, and while media attention forced Shkreli to back down, "the hard part is achieving lasting reform," he writes. (A huge increase in the price of a tuberculosis drug has also been rolled back.)