Ben Carson refuses to take on drug company that puts HIV patients at riskAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Friday, October 30th, 2015
During this week’s Republican Presidential debate Ben Carson once again demonstrated he is no friend of the LGBT community by refusing to take sides on the issue of Turing Pharmaceuticals’ massive price hike of an HIV drug.
CNBC host Jim Cramer asked Carson, “In recent weeks, another pharmaceutical company has been accused of profiteering, for dramatically raising the profits of life-saving drugs. You have spent a lifetime in medicine. Have these companies gone too far? Should the government be involved in controlling some of these price increases?”
Blaming the increase on over-regulation Carson responded, “Well, there is no question that some people go overboard when it comes to trying to make profits and they don’t take into consideration the American people. What we have to start thinking about as leaders, particularly in government, is what can we do for the average American?
“And you think about the reasons that we’re having such difficulty right now with our job market. Well, the average small manufacturer, whatever they’re manufacturing, drugs or anything, if they have less than 50 employees the average cost in terms of regulations is $34,000 per employee. Makes it a whole lot easier for them to want to go somewhere else.
“So what we’re going to have to start doing instead of you know picking on this group or this group is we’re going to have to have a major reduction in the regulatory influence that is going on,” Carson ontinued. “The government is not supposed to be in every part of our lives and that is what is causing the problem.”
The Human Rights Campaign critisized Carson’s response calling it “appalling,” “It’s shocking and bad enough that the greedy price gouging from Turing is jeopardizing the health of women, children, infants, and people living with HIV,” said JoDee Winterhof, senior vice president of Policy and Political Affairs for the Human Rights Campaign. “It’s appalling that when given a chance, Ben Carson refused to say what everyone knows — that Turing needs to reverse the arbitrary and unconscionable 5,000 percent price increase of a lifesaving treatment for people living with HIV.”
Last week, HRC joined 151 other organizations from across the nation in signing an open letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals urging company CEO Martin Shkreli to immediately act on his promise to lower the price on Daraprim.
Watch Carson’s response above.
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