Nirmal Mulye is the president of Nostrum Pharmaceuticals.
Last month, his company raised the price of an antibiotic called nitrofurantoin from approximately $500 per bottle to over $2300 a bottle.
Mulye's defense of the price gouge? It is a "moral requirement".
Nitrofurantoin is used to treat bladder infections and is on the World Health Organization's list of essential medicines. On Tuesday, the Financial Times spoke with Mulye about his company's astronomical price increase of the essential antibiotic.
"I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can... to sell the product for the highest price."
The price increase allegedly occurred in response to Casper Pharma's price inflation of their branded version of the same drug, Furadantin. Furadantin sells for $2800, causing Mulye to further defend his company's price jump which is an entire $500 less than their competition.
He likened Nostrum Pharmaceuticals choice to that of an art dealer. He said that he was in "this business to make money."
Mulye rounded out his impeccable ethics by defending Martin Shkreli—the "pharma bro" who raised the price of an AIDS drug by more than 5,000 percent. Shkreli was sentenced to 7 years in prison for fraud relating to his hedge funds.
"I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders."
He also stated:
"This is a capitalist economy and if you can't make money you can't stay in business. We have to make money when we can."
"The price of iPhones goes up, the price of cars goes up, hotel rooms are very expensive."
Dr. Scott Gottlieb—who serves as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration—tweeted about Nirmal Mulye's outrageous statements.
After seeing Gottlieb's response, Mulye said:
"[Gottlieb] does not have the necessary competence to comment on the morality of drug price increases, which is a complex subject."
People are disgusted by Mulye's twisted principles.
Maybe someday drug companies will develop a drug that will give guys like Shkreli and Mulye an accurate moral compass.