Aussie Students Took Down Martin Shkreli By Recreating His Controversial $750 Drug For Just $2
Remember Martin Shkreli, who is also called the "big pharma bro"? He was the man who sparked outrage last year by raising the price of a tablet of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. He may have met his match in some schoolboys in Australia.
The handful of year 11 students in Sydney has figuratively punched him in the face as they cooked the same drug in their own school laboratory. The price of the recreated Daraprim drug is just $2.
The Grammar boys, all just 17 years old, synthesized the active ingredient, pyrimethamine. They have produced about 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine for $20. In the United States, the same quantity would cost up to about $110,000.
Daraprim Price Mark-Up
Martin Shkreli, who gained control over Turing Pharmaceuticals last year, has gained public scrutiny by marking up the price of the pill by as much as 5,000 percent. He was under fire once more when he spent $2 million on the only available copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album.
With the controversial background of the drug's price, University of Sydney chemist Dr. Alice Williamson thought that it would be an ideal drug to create by her chemistry students at Sydney Grammar School.
"The background to this made it seem more important," James Wood, one of the students who made the drug, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It seems totally unjustified and ethically wrong. It's a life-saving drug and so many people can't afford it," Wood added as reported by BBC.
Meanwhile, Martin Shkreli posted a series of statements on Twitter.
And why buy my equipment when I can use the lab's for free?! And those teachers who told them what to do, they'll work for free, right?
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 1, 2016
Labor and equipment costs? Didn't know you could get physical chemists to work for free? I should use high school kids to make my medicines! — Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 1, 2016
What Is Daraprim?
Daraprim, an anti-parasitic medicine, is used to treat infections like malaria and toxoplasmosis. Usually, it is used to treat people who are immunocompromised or those with low immune systems, like those who are suffering from Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), pregnant women and those undergoing chemotherapy.