Disclaimer: This post contains strong language.
Earlier this week, the Internet basically blew up because of this guy:
The media was all over it. Outrage was almost instantaneous. Martin Shkreli has been called almost every name in the book: “Public Enemy No. 1,” “the most hated man in America,” “a spoiled brat” by none other than Donald Trump, and more. The Daily Beast blatantly called him an asshole in their main headline, which was my exact impression of this shitty scumbag and fucking bottom feeder when the news first broke.
Shkreli’s decision to raise the price of Daraprim, used to treat an infection caused by a parasite, from a sensible $13.50 per pill to over $750 per dose, was jaw-dropping, among other things.
He soon back-pedaled, but the damage was already done:
- Drug CEO Will Lower Price of Daraprim After Hike Sparked Outrage
- Turing boss Martin Shkreli says Daraprim price drop ‘might curtail research for lethal diseases’
- How Much the Cost of Daraprim Could Drop After Outcry Over Controversial 4,000 Percent Price Hike
- Martin Shkreli, the Mercurial Man Behind the Drug Price Increase That Went Viral
- “Martin Shkreli is the Donald Trump of drug development”: Why even a biotech exec agrees Turing’s pill price-gouging is “even skeevier than you think”
- Martin Shkreli’s shocking Daraprim price increase is part of a prescription drug trend
- Pharma Bro Is the Face of U.S. Health Care
It’s bad enough when your one decision sparks worldwide outrage, but I think it’s worse when your supposed colleagues in your own industry and supporting industries turn their backs on you. However, this piece of shitty scum totally deserves it. I’m applauding those in the bio tech industry and PhRMA for standing up and saying, “Whoa, hang on a second, this is not acceptable.” Read more from The Washington Post.
With that said, however, my applause is limited and short-lived. These industries are fucking money hoarders!
In The Daily Beast article, a reporter confronted Shkreli about the low cost of producing Daraprim – Roughly one dollar per pill.
Shkreli’s response to her?
” … Shkreli claimed that the price hike was necessary for Turing Pharmaceuticals to increase revenue, and that some of the profits would be funneled into research and development costs for a Daraprim alternative …”
That’s PURE FUCKING GREED.
However, as The Washington Post article said, Shkreli is certainly not the first drug company executive, or drug company, to drastically raise prices.
Shkreli’s been in the news before – When he was the CEO of Retrophin, the company acquired Thiola, a drug used to treat an incurable kidney disease, with plans to raise its price over 20 times. The Retrophin board fired Shkreli and sued him for $65 million, accusing him of misusing company funds.
Here’s a few examples of those costs:
- The hepatitis C medication Sovaldi costs $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment (Source: The Atlantic)
- According to a May 2013 article, the cost of cancer drugs have skyrocketed – Since 1993, costs have almost doubled, from an average of $5,000 per month to $10,000 per month (Source: Medscape)
- The lung cancer treatment drug Avastin costs $11,908 per month (Source: Bloomberg View)
- This study from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s Carleton University was released in July 2015: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Medicare Part D pays needlessly high brand-name drug prices compared with other OECD countries and with U.S. government programs
And, as I learned from researching for this post, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) apparently can’t do a damn thing about drug prices. They have no “legal authority to investigate or control the prices charged for marketed drugs,” according to a response on the FDA’s frequently asked questions section of their website.
Reading that statement basically knocked me over, initially.
According to an article from The Atlantic, Americans were reminded this week that the U.S. is the only fucking country in the FUCKING WORLD “where drug companies set their own prices for life-saving medications.”
Cue eye roll, heavy sigh, and head-shaking.
But, wait, hold on to your hats folks, there’s actually SOME GOOD NEWS!
Before this, and now even more so because of the spotlight on and scrutiny of Shkreli, people are actually paying attention, and giving a fuck!
- How an obscure drug’s 4,000% price increase might finally spur action on soaring health-care costs
- Big Price Increase for Tuberculosis Drug Is Rescinded
- Clinton proposing $250 monthly cap on prescription drug costs for patients
- Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2015
All right, so maybe that first set of sentences were slightly sarcastic …
For me, I’ll believe all of this when I see it.
Meaning, I’ll believe it when Congress takes action.
Right now, the only thing that all of this proves to me is Big Pharma is king, and no one can reach his throne to take away his crown.