Pharma CEO jacks drug price 400%, citing “moral requirement to make money”

Hundred dollar bills inside prescription pill bottles

Enlarge / Hundred-dollar bills inside prescription pill bottles. (credit: GettyBill Diodato)

The chief executive of a small pharmaceutical company defended hiking the price of an essential antibiotic by more than 400 percent and told the Financial Times that he thinks “it is a moral requirement to make money when you can.”

Nirmal Mulye, CEO of the small Missouri-based drug company Nostrum Laboratories, raised the price of bottle of nitrofurantoin from $474.75 to $2,392 last month. The drug is a decades-old antibiotic used to treat urinary-tract infections caused by Escherichia coli and certain other Gram-negative bacteria. The World Health Organization lists nitrofurantoin as an essential medicine.

In an interview with the FT, Mulye went on to say it was also a “moral requirement” to “sell the product for the highest price,” and he explained that he was in “this business to make money.”

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Pharma CEO jacks drug price 400%, citing “moral requirement to make money”