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Epi-pen. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Nirmal Mulye, the chief executive of a small drug company called Nostrum Laboratories, defended his decision to the Financial Times to quadruple the price of a 65-year-old antibiotic.

What he's saying: “I think it is a moral requirement to make money when you can . . . to sell the product for the highest price... 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... This is a capitalist economy and if you can’t make money you can’t stay in business.”

What they’re saying:

"There are other suppliers of this product and, by its own admission ... the company in question isn’t actively marketing their formulation. Their excessive price, detached from market principles, exists only on a list and should remain there in a competitive marketplace,”
— FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted yesterday

My thought bubble: Mulye is saying the quiet part out loud here, but he and Shkreli are by no means the only pharmaceutical executives to jack up the price on old yet crucial drugs — that’s what happened with the EpiPen, with the cancer drug lomustine, and with dozens of other products.

  • In cases where one company is able to raise its prices at will because it’s the only one making a particular product, the FDA has made it a priority to help speed new competitors to market.
  • But Nostrum has at least one competitor — which is charging just as much for its version of the same antibiotic, per FT.

Perennial caveat: Few patients pay a drug's full sticker price, but that price is still the starting point for determining what people with insurance do pay.

Go deeper

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.