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Drug company hikes price for end-of-life drug Seconal

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Seconal price hikedThe 80-year-old drug Seconal, a once widely used sleeping pill now often prescribed as an end-of-life treatment, has doubled in price as laws go into effect in several states this year permitting terminally ill patients to take their own lives.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which is among companies being investigated by Congress for price gouging, doubled the price of Seconal last year from $1,500 to $3,000 after acquiring the rights to it.

Seconal was the latest "mispriced" drug bought by Valeant with the intent of slashing staffs and raising the price, a common practice in the pharmaceutical industry that drew the attention of Congress and most of the country after Turing Pharmaceuticals bought and immediately increased the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent.

On March 21, Valeant CEO J. Michael Pearson was forced by the company's board of directors to resign, bringing to an end the empire he'd built buying drugs and companies, reducing costs and increasing the prices of older, cheaper drugs to boost the company's profits.


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