Former hedge fund manager and founder and CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals Martin Shkreli has earned the ire of the internet, politicians, and many more. He did this by buying the rights to a drug used by HIV patients and raised the price overnight from $13.50 to $750 per pill, in a move that even Monty Burns would wince at.
The drug is called Daraprim (also pyrimethamine) and the price increase happened last month, when Shkreli's startup bought the rights—it's only now that it's hit full-on internet outrage. Daraprim fights toxoplasmosis, which although a relatively common disease, is usually fought off by the body's immune system. But it can affect those whose immune system's have been weakened by HIV, chemotherapy or pregnancy.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association have already sent a letter to Turing, where they called the price increase "unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population" and asked the company to "Please help us improve public health by immediately implementing a rational and fair pricing strategy for pyrimethamine that keeps treatment for a potentially fatal condition accessible to our patients."
Craig Rothenberg, a spokesman for Turing, told USA Today the company is "working with hospitals and providers to get every patient covered. This includes free-of-charge options for uninsured patients and co-pay assistance programs." He also said the company will use the money it makes from the drug to research treatments for toxoplasmosis. “There has been no innovation in dealing with toxoplasmosis,” Rothenberg said. “That has been a long neglect in the patient community.”
Still, hiking the price up such a degree seems like a cold-hearted, evil incarnate, capitalism-at-its-absolute-worst type move. Shkreli took to Twitter to sort of defend himself from the onslaught of people asking him why he was such a douce.
And to tell people he needed a haircut.
It didn't stop the internet, and Hilary Clinton, from striking down upon him. And it's made him the most hated man since that guy who shot the lion.
As the great Monty Burns would say, "Why do I need another penny? I have billions. Still, if I don't take it, that hoodlum over there might."
And finally. YouTuber Internet Comment Etiquette with Erik took to twitter and 'got in the middle of it' with the man himself, it makes for a hilarious vlog of how a CEO of a Pharmaceutical corporation rolls. And boy are they hatin'.