The drug pricing policies of pharmaceutical companies are once again in the cross-hairs. Aspen pharmaceuticals recently made headlines for failure to disclose a fine that Italian competition authorities imposed for "price gouging". In the media, Aspen has been portrayed as the villain and it appears the British and European competition authorities will launch their own investigation into the price-gouging allegations. But critics and the public should know better. In 2014, Turing Pharmaceuticals became the most hated company in America when it raised the price of an old, off-patent drug branded as Daraprim (pyrimethamine) from $13.50 (approximately R181) a tablet to $750 (approximately R10,028) — an increase of more than 5,000%. Pyrimethamine is a drug that, for decades, has been used to treat toxoplasmosis and, more recently, AIDS and cancer patients. Similarly, Aspen dramatically increased the price of several cancer drugs, some by more than 1,000%. People outraged at these increa...

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