Pharma company cashed in on Flint water crisis, raised lead poisoning drug prices 2,700 percent
During the Flint city water crisis, as children’s brains were being poisoned by lead coming from their tap water, one pharmaceutical company was caught cashing in, in the greediest way. Valeant Pharmaceuticals hiked the price of an important medicine that treats severe lead poisoning. They hiked the price by a stunning 2,700 percent between 2013 and 2015, severely restricting the medicine’s availability at a time when children in Flint, Michigan needed it the most.
For over two years, residents of Flint, Michigan were poisoned by extreme levels of lead in their tap water. When Flint city officials switched the source of the city’s drinking water from Lake Huron to Flint River, proper water treatment protocols were not followed. As residents complained about the water, city officials continued to claim the water was safe to drink. When the issue was finally brought to light by heavy metal testing, residents found out they were drinking what the EPA considers hazardous waste. When Virginia Tech University tested 300 water samples from Flint, Michigan, lead levels were consistently greater than the EPA’s limit of 15ppb. One sample was as high as 13,200ppb!