It’s Turing Pharmaceuticals owner Martin Shkreli:
Back when Martin Shkreli was CEO of Retrophin, he managed to grab a few headlines by buying an old rare-disease drug, Thiola, and raising the price 2000%. Now that he’s on to his next company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, he’s done himself one better, by buying another old drug and boosting the price 5000%.
The drug is Daraprim, which Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals bought a few weeks ago from Impax Laboratories. As Healio and USA Today reported in recent days, Turing immediately hiked the price from $13.50 per pill to $750.
“Under the current pricing structure, it is estimated that the annual cost of treatment for toxoplasmosis, for the pyrimethamine component alone, will be $336,000 for patients who weigh less than 60 kg and $634,500 for patients who weigh more than 60 kg,” wrote the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association, according to Healio‘s story. “This cost is unjustifiable for the medically vulnerable patient population in need of this medication and unsustainable for the health care system.”
Shkreli’s tireless efforts to exploit the for-profit healthcare industry with no regard for the literal life-and-death implications of what he’s doing makes him a perennial contender for this award:
This is not the first time the 32-year-old Mr. Shkreli, who has a reputation for both brilliance and brashness, has been the center of controversy. He started MSMB Capital, a hedge fund company, in his 20s and drew attention for urging the Food and Drug Administration not to approve certain drugs made by companies whose stock he was shorting.
In 2011, Mr. Shkreli started Retrophin, which also acquired old neglected drugs and sharply raised their prices. Retrophin’s board fired Mr. Shkreli a year ago. Last month, it filed a complaint in Federal District Court in Manhattan, accusing him of using Retrophin as a personal piggy bank to pay back angry investors in his hedge fund.
I just can’t fathom why anybody would complain that America’s health care industry is fundamentally and perversely broken when you hear uplifting stories like this. Sure, people who can’t afford the drugs they need are getting sick, but since when do we care about that? A vastly smaller number of extraordinarily privileged people are getting really rich(er) off of this stuff, and isn’t that the whole point of, well, everything?
ETA: HA HA Jesus Christ is this guy a real-life Bond villain or something?
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