Neven Mrgan, a game developer, is a man who needs a particular type of medicine to prevent him from developing terminal liver damage. This medicine, Cuprimine, runs Mrgan $400-$1700 a month, but he has health insurance. When he looked into the actual price of the drug without insurance, the cost was unfathomably high.
He looked up the reasons why, and found them in a New York Times story from October of last year on the company called Valeant Pharmaceuticals International:
Mr. Mannes has been taking the same drug, Cuprimine, for 55 years to treat Wilson disease, an inherited disorder that can cause severe liver and nerve damage. This summer, Valeant more than quadrupled its price overnight.
Medicare will now have to cover about $35,000 for the 120 capsules he takes each month, and he will have to pay about $1,800 a month out of pocket, compared with about $366 he paid in May.
“My husband will die without the medicine,” said his wife, Susan, who is now working a second part-time job to help pay for health care. “We just can’t manage another two, three thousand dollars a month for pills.”
Mrgan's series of tweets prove Martin Shkreli is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corruption and backwardness in the American healthcare system.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.