A group of Australian teens made headlines after replicating Daraprim for $2 per dose after Martin Shkreli infamously slapped a $750 price tag on the drug. The teens did so with ingredients they purchased off the internet, which didn’t make Pharma Bro look any less terrible than he did after jacking the HIV and Malaria drug up from $13.50 per pill. Shkreli stepped down as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals after he was arrested for securities fraud in December 2015, but he raked in a ton of dough off Daraprim without even developing the drug himself. He simply purchased it and jacked the price.
As a result, people were amused by how these teenagers devoted a year of their chemistry experiments to inexpensively replicating the pill. This shone a light on the insanely high prices of the U.S. pharmaceutical market, which Shkreli illustrated to an extreme. To no one’s surprise, Shkreli wasn’t thrilled. His delayed Twitter reaction showed him ripping into “dumb journalists” who simply “want a feel good story.” He also invoked Ahmed “Clock Kid” Mohamed.
He tweet-ranted about labor, equipment, and being a “grown ass man” who would like to teach these kids a lesson about how long it takes for an ANDA (Abbreviated New Drug Application) to gain generic-form approval.
Shkreli missed the point. The kids never aimed to sell this drug, at least not on the U.S. market, because Turing has taken advantage of a loophole to prevent Daraprim generics from making their way into the wild. They simply wanted to show how ridiculous and greedy it was to sell Daraprim at $750 per dose.
A Twitter moment soon called Shkreli out for disrespecting teens.
Shkreli then argued that he wasn’t slamming kids at all, just the adults, for paying attention to his irritable tweets. That’s a fair point, but still, he doesn’t appear to grasp why the price-gouging of life-saving drugs earned him so much vitriol in the first place.
He also accused Twitter of helping Trump become president, all because people paid attention to how a school treated a precocious young boy like a terrorist. Oh, and Shkreli finally recorded a very short video to “commend” the chemistry students, but he’s still very angry.