A 'reverse Turing?' Nonprofit reacquires TB drug, rolls back massive price hike
- After Rodelis Therapeutics acquired cycloserine, used to treat tuberculosis, from the Chao Center, which is overseen by the Purdue Research Foundation, the cost of a 30-day supply increased from $500 to $10,800. The Purdue Research Foundation is a not-for-profit.
- When Dan Hasler, president of the foundation, found out about the price increase, he protested. Rodelis has now returned the drug to Chao.
- The price of a 30-day supply of cycloserine will now be $1,050, which is enough, according to Chao, to offset the costs of production, NBC reports.
The fact that a company buys an old drug and contemporizes the marketing, while increasing the cost of the drug, is nothing new. In fact, it's business as usual.
But in the era of cost-consciouness, outcomes-based reimbursement and public outrage against what is perceived as price-gouging (Martin Shkreli's latest situation with Daraprim comes to mind), there is currently a great deal of sensitivity around this issue. In fact, Hasler made it clear that the minute he found out about the price increase, he took action.
As for Rodelis, they made a brief statement as follows:
"Rodelis Therapeutics and the Chao Center mutually agreed last week that it is in the best interests of the patients to return the rights of Cycloserine to the Chao Center," it said. "Rodelis Therapeutics, which is a privately held company, remains committed to developing and investing in therapeutics of orphan diseases and high unmet medical needs."