A pharmaceutical company is under fire after briefly attempting to price-gouge the public by raising the cost of anti-malaria drug cloroquine, which President Donald Trump has been falsely touting as a cure for coronavirus.
Trump has been fixated on chloroquine for days, most recently hyping it as a treatment on Sunday morning in a tweet despite National Institutes of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FDA fact-checking Trump’s claims.
Why is Trump so obsessed with hyping this drug? Well, the answer could be extraordinarily sinister.
On January 23rd, Rising Pharmaceuticals—a company based in New Jersey—hiked up the price of chloroquine just a day before United States Senators were briefed on just how bad the virus could get here. As we have since learned, several Republicans rushed to sell millions of dollars worth of stocks after the briefing before the economy collapsed.
The company claims that it has since returned the price back to normal after having hiked it up by 97 percent.
Currently, experts fear that millions of Americans will be infected by the virus and many will die, making them easy prey for a for-profit Big Pharma company because many will be willing to pay any price to save their lives.
During an interview on CNN, author Gerald Posner—who wrote a book about Big Pharma—slammed Rising for the scheme and warned that we could see more price-gouging as the pandemic continues to worsen.
“What Rising Pharmaceuticals did here is a perfect example of what drug companies often do,” he said. “They see an opportunity. I think in many ways the pandemic, and this is a cold calculus, is one of the biggest profit opportunities in a generation for drug companies.”
“And this is a case, also, where Trump gets ahead of the science,” Posner continued. “He was the one who originally tweeted this was approved, chloroquine, for COVID-19. Guess what, 20 minutes later, the FDA had to come out and say, no, it’s not. He had a tweet that said it’s low risk. Guess what, it’s for malaria and arthritis, all types of laundry list of side effects including for heart patients for whom it’s toxic. If the company doubles the price, we’re getting a taste for what I talk about in the book, the DNA of Big Pharma. They come up at a time we’re in need, and get a high price because we’re desperate and willing to pay it.”
Here’s the video via YouTube:
This kind of price-gouging is the reason why Rising was recently slapped with a $3 million fine last year. But it also may be why Trump is touting chloroquine so heavily right now. Again, we know that Republicans have sold stock in response to this virus. What if Trump is buying stock in Big Pharma companies and then hyping “miracle” treatments to cause a run on the drugs in order to make a huge profit for himself, which would be even bigger if companies raised the prices?
It’s definitely worth looking into, and that’s why Trump should be forced to release his financial records and tax returns. His treachery may run far deeper during this crisis than just responding poorly to the pandemic and lying about it.
Featured image via screen capture
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