BIO kicks out Shkreli, Turing Pharma in wake of Daraprim price debacle
- FierceBiotech's John Carroll reports that the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the largest trade group for the biotech industry, has kicked out Turing Pharma and its controversial CEO Martin Shkreli from its membership roster.
- Turing and Shkreli have come under widespread national criticism after news broke that the company had hiked the price of Daraprim, a toxoplasmosis drug used by HIV/AIDS patients that was approved 62 years ago, by 5,000% after acquiring it.
- Shkreli has backtracked since the controversy erupted, saying that Turing will roll back the price increase. But the company has yet to specify what the drug's new price will be. Shkreli is also reportedly under federal criminal investigation for his actions at the company Retrophin (which he founded). Retrophin sued Shkreli in August for $65 million for alleged mismanagement of funds.
Turing and Shrekli have clearly become pariahs of the biopharma industry in the wake of the Daraprim scandal. Biopharma CEOs and trade groups PhRMA and BIO have now both condemned his actions, which many have called unethical and "price-gouging."
Now, Turing no longer has a home in the most prominent biotech trade organization.
"Turing Pharmaceuticals was a member of BIO for a brief period of time and is currently no longer a member," wrote BIO in a statement. "The company and its leadership do not reflect the commitment to innovation and values that are at the core of BIO's reputation and mission. For that reason, BIO determined, after a review of Turing's membership status, that the company did not meet our eligibility criteria, and we took action to rescind its membership and return its membership dues."
Although Shkreli's price hike case is certainly extreme, he's also shone an uncomfortable spotlight on pharma's pricing practices, which include a recent trend of massively hiking some generic and branded drug prices. That many help explain why the backlash against Shkreli has been so swift, including from the industry—the sector feels it imperative that the public and the media not paint all of biopharma with the same brush.