Avondale, a secretive Alabama-based drugmaker, has gained unwanted national attention after the company increased the price of a bottle of vitamins to almost $300 that can be bought on the internet for $5.
In the latest example of price-gouging in America’s lightly regulated pharmaceutical industry, records show Avondale inflated the price of Niacor, a prescription-only version of niacin, by ‘809 percent last month, taking a bottle of 100 tablets from $32.46 to $295’, according to the Financial Times.
Niacor is the prescription form of niacin, a type of vitamin B3 that is used to treat high cholesterol and the increased risk of a heart attack. With one easy search on Google, a generic version of Niacor can be bought for $5.75 on Jet.com – meanwhile, if the consumer wants the prescription brand, well, they might have to sell their Apple Watch.
Avondale’s development of price-gouging is certainly bad timing on management’s behalf when considering Martin Shkreli, who in the past year has become the most hated man in America after he bought the rights to a drug, then raised prices by 5,500 percent. In the world of Big Pharma, buy-and-raise schemes are not limited to just Shkreli, but it’s rampant across the industry, such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals who has been accused of raising drug prices by more than 5,000 percent.
The Financial Times said Avondale acquired the rights to Niacor from Upsher Smith, a division of Japan’s Sawai Pharmaceutical, earlier this year. The buy-and-raise scheme was immediately applied to Niacor, as management faced little or no competition among other drugmakers, along with limited government regulation.
Niacor isn’t the first time the company inflated drug prices, management ‘increased the price of SSKI by 2,469 percent, taking a 30ml bottle from $11.48 to $295,’ according to the Financial Times.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 15, 2017.