BERLIN , N.H., Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton vows to stop investors from making a profit by hiking prices of crucial, sometimes live-saving drugs.
Referring to Martin Shkreli -- the biotech investor recently indicted for securities fraud -- Clinton told supporters at a campaign stop in Berlin, N.H.: "We can't let the speculators buy drugs" with expired patents and "increase the cost like that."
Clinton responded to a question from an audience member about the high prices of prescription drugs, Bloomberg Politics reported.
"Some of you have heard about this pharmaceutical company where the guy's now been indicted—Turing—right? Well what he did was go out and find a drug that people had to have to survive ... mostly for AIDS patients but not totally," she said. "So he buys a company that is selling this drug and overnight increases the cost from $7.50 a pill to like $750 a pill and basically says, 'Tough. I'm charging what I can charge.' We can't let that go on either."
Shkreli was the subject of widespread outrage when it was revealed his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of an anti-parasitic drug from $13.50 a pill to $750. KaloBios, the company that fired Shrekli on Dec. 21, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.
Shkreli later announced he would lower the price of the drug after the backlash.
Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., both condemned Shkreli when the news broke in August. Clinton laid out a plan to force pharmaceutical companies to reinvest profits into research, and also allow more generic and imported drugs.
Sanders vowed in September to introduce legislation to prevent soaring drug prices. He submitted an amendment to H.R. 3762 to allow U.S. companies to import drugs from Canada, but the amendment was withdrawn on Dec. 3.
H.R. 3762 proposes to make changes to the Affordable Care Act, such as eliminating the penalty owed by those who do not maintain a minimum amount of health coverage. The bill passed the Senate and was sent the House on Dec. 4.