Chloroquine Prices Sliced To 2015 Level To Fight Global Coronavirus Pandemic
A New Jersey based drug company Rising Pharmaceuticals doubled the price of its chloroquine phosphate tablets in late 2019. But the increased price was soon rolled back after the medicine is touted as a promising coronavirus treatment.
Treating COVID-19 with chloroquine
The publishing and analytics company Elsevier compiled a report on price increase by the said pharma company. The report said that the price of chloroquine phosphate tablet was increased by 98% between December 2019 and January 2020. The data provided to STAT revealed that cost of a 250-miligram tablet was increased from $3.87 to $7.66.
The company increased the cost of the drug months before the COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and much before the tablet was perceived as an effective medicine in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Chloroquine phosphate is usually given in malaria treatment but its demand increased in the past two weeks due to COVID-19 pandemic.
CEO of company explained price decrease
Ira Baeringer said that the price of the drug was reduced to 2015 level for all customers once the whole issue of COVID-19 pandemic started to explode. Even the President Trump said that the drug chloroquine was an effective treatment against coronavirus and that it was “approved for prescription.”
Food and Drug Administration contradicted Trump
Stephen Hahn interrupted to correct Trump almost immediately saying that any opinion on the efficacy of the drug should be made only after conducting clinical trials. Chloroquine phosphate has been manufactured since late 1940s and used as an antimalarial drug.