400% price hike for generic drug a 'moral requirement,' Missouri pharma CEO says

Nostrum Laboratories, a Missouri-based drugmaker, raised the price of a generic antibiotic 400 percent to more than $2,000 per bottle, and its CEO is defending the price hike, according to The Financial Times.

Here are five things to know:

1. The price hike involves nitrofurantoin, an antibiotic used to treat bladder infections. It was first marketed in 1953 and is listed on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines.

2. The price of a bottle of the antibiotic was raised in August from $474.75 to $2,392.

3. In an interview, Nostrum's CEO Nirmal Mulye defended the sharp price hike. He said, according to the Financial Times, that he priced the product according to market dynamics, adding that it is "a moral requirement to make money when you can …  to sell the product for the highest price."

4. Mr. Mulye said his company was responding to a price hike from the maker of the branded version of nitrofurantoin, Casper Pharma. The brand name drugmaker increased the price of its product by 182 percent between 2015 and March 2018. The brand-name version, called Furadantin, costs $2,800.

5. "The point here is the only other choice is the brand at the higher price. It is still a saving regardless of whether it is a big one or not," Mr. Mulye told the Financial Times.

Read the full story here.

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