A major pharmaceutical company is in hot water this week after it was revealed that they considered destroying their own stockpiles of vital cancer treatment medication in order to raise prices.

Aspen Pharmacare had a problem – they could continue to sell their drugs at a lower price, or they could just destroy their supplies in order to artificially inflate the value of what they produced. Placing profit over human life was of course their only course of action.

An investigation by the Times uncovered this planned evil, discovering that the company was seeking to mark up their product 4,000 percent in its distribution to Spanish markets, according to internal emails.

According to these emails, Aspen began withholding five cancer drugs from the market in Spain in May of 2014, forcing residents to search elsewhere for replacement drugs. Aspen held the Spanish government hostage over the drugs, internally suggesting that they would destroy their stocks unless the Spanish health ministry did not agree to the substantial price hike.

As RT notes, Spain wasn’t the only target of Aspen’s price gouging. In fact, they had been seeking substantial cost increases across Europe for the past several years. In each country, Aspen warned the health department – agree to our substantial rate hikes, or get no drugs at all.

The practice of destroying old stock in order to protect the integrity of high-cost items like luxury clothing and accessories is not unheard of, but the idea of applying those same principles in order to keep life-saving medications costly is inhuman. It’s one thing for Abercrombie & Fitch to burn their end-of-season clothing to keep them from filling up Goodwills, it’s another thing entirely to deprive sick Americans from access to cancer medication in order to rake in more money.

Currently in the U.K., there are no protections from companies holding their products hostage in the name of a higher pricetag. In response to frauds like Aspen, the government is now considering legislation allowing it to regulate drug prices if they deem the current cost to be excessive.

Aspen Pharmaceutical is being just like every other company in the Big Pharma gambit – seeking to take advantage of its consumers to make an extra buck, no matter the cost.

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Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at srobinson@ringoffireradio.com