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.
1/2 Regarding @FT story today @bydavidcrow; there’s no moral imperative to price gouge and take advantage of patien… https://t.co/6IhY0C95ZP— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@Scott Gottlieb, M.D.)1536666719.0
2/2 There are other suppliers of this product and, by its own admission in @FT, the company in question isn’t activ… https://t.co/OFB4Hu277L— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@Scott Gottlieb, M.D.)1536667076.0
According to #FDA’s shortages database; the drug in question — which is a liquid formulation of a widely available,… https://t.co/dSfqUeB7Cr— Scott Gottlieb, M.D. (@Scott Gottlieb, M.D.)1536668802.0
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.
@P4AD_ Nirmal Mulye is a garbage human. “Moral requirement” to hike the prices of life saving drugs? He has no idea… https://t.co/nWwNz9ia5L— Lillian the Liberal (@Lillian the Liberal)1536934911.0
@saliltripathi Moral obligation? What the hell? Is this guy Trump's brother from another mother?— 💧HeartBroken4USA💧 (@💧HeartBroken4USA💧)1536781850.0
@saliltripathi How can you use the word “moral” when you are fucking over people who are sick. Do I have a “moral”… https://t.co/Da6ciGwet4— 🌟Vincent Watson🌟 (@🌟Vincent Watson🌟)1536709516.0
@saliltripathi Price gouging is morally Wrong. Mr. Pharma president Mulye needs to get his morals checked. Profitin… https://t.co/75H709Cwu2— Rizwan Farooq (@Rizwan Farooq)1536803191.0
@ToryFibs @berle49 If there was ever a reason to tar- and-feather an individual, this is definitely one.— Lefty 🌹#Bernie2020 (@Lefty 🌹#Bernie2020)1536741721.0
@newrepublic Makes me sick— LBOcean111 (@LBOcean111)1536694703.0
@dose Pharmaceutical companies are on par with banks, oil and insurance companies as the lowest form of life on the planet— Dave Dawson (@Dave Dawson)1536718129.0
@Op_Ed_B @newrepublic I do not think that word means what he thinks it means... https://t.co/xPPQQ1Uujb— aging hippie (@aging hippie)1536866828.0
@newrepublic An opportunity to use this for someone that isn’t in the Trump admin... https://t.co/C6FMcdksiO— Alicia (@Alicia)1536868022.0
@newrepublic Since when is it a "moral requirement" to cause the death of people because their prescription costs a… https://t.co/xR3aQVedXe— TJM (@TJM)1536869096.0
Maybe someday drug companies will develop a drug that will give guys like Shkreli and Mulye an accurate moral compass.