The exclusive manufacturer of chloroquine – a drug described by US President Donald Trump as being able to treat Covid-19 – pushed the drug price up twice in January.
According to the Financial Times, Rising Pharmaceuticals in New Jersey (USA) has quietly doubled the price of chloroquine. This is a malaria drug, being tested to treat new strain of coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
The price of chloroquine increased by 97.85% to USD 7.66 at a dose of 250 mg and USD 19.88 at a dose of 500 mg. After the Financial Times published the above information, Rising Pharmaceuticals declared the price increase “accidental” and pledged to restore the old price.
However, market research firm Elsevier confirmed that so far, Rising Pharmaceuticals has not yet lowered the price of chloroquine. The company says it does not promote the drug as a new treatment for corona virus.
However, Rising received 5 times more orders than usual.
“Increasing drug prices at this critical time is not good for any company that wants to do long-term business in the market,” Financial Times quoted Michael Rea, CEO of RxSavings Solutions, criticizing Rising Pharmaceuticals’ profiteering behavior.
At a press conference on March 19, US President Donald Trump announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved chloroquine to treat Covid-19. However, the FDA later denied the information and said it was only looking more closely at the drug.
Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, said it was necessary to test chloroquine with a large number of Covid-19 patients to draw a final conclusion. The FDA also announced that it will coordinate with government agencies and research organizations to determine whether this drug will treat Covid-19.