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Report on Business: their morals and ours

John Bell

September 27, 2018

High on High prices

A US pharmaceutical company just raised the price of an essential antibiotic from $474 per bottle to $2,392. The drug was patented in 1953, and the World Health Organization lists it as an essential medication for treatment of bladder infections.

Nirmal Mulye is CEO of Nostrum Laboratories, makers of Nitrofuranoin, the drug in question. According to Mulye, he simply had no choice but to quadruple the price overnight. The reason? “I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can…to sell the product for the highest price.”

Besides, Mulye really had no choice since Casper Pharma, his only competitor and maker of a generic version of the same drug, had recently raised its price to $2,800 per bottle. The modest Mr. Mulye reminded us that his drug was a bargain: “The point here is the only other choice is the brand at the higher price. It is still a saving regardless of whether it is a big one or not.”

“This is a capitalist economy and if you can’t make money you can’t stay in business.”

Sufferers with potentially fatal infections can feel good that the outrageous prices they have to pay fulfill the moral requirements of drug dealers.

Disaster priorities

Myrtle Beach South Carolina is a coastal resort area known for its golf courses. It is also directly in the path of deadly Hurricane Florence.

The governor of SC ordered a mandatory evacuation of coastal areas ahead of the storm. But it seems there are exceptions who are expected to stay and risk their lives. Emergency personnel? The State militia? No–golf course attendants!

A Carolina born author named Faith Cameron took to twitter to report: “My uncle’s employer in Myrtle Beach has denied him the choice to evacuate ahead of #HurricaneFlorerence, stating he will lose his job because he is needed to take care of the golf resort. Wow. Just. Wow.”

“But how horrible to be told your life comes in second to your employer’s interests and concerns!!”

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