Children synthesize $2 version of Martin Shkreli's $750 malaria drug


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/01/children-synthesize-2-version.html


#2

The smirking, villainous pharma-hedge-douche-bro Martin Shkreli (previously) bought the rights to the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim -- used to treat malaria, a disease that disproportionately affects the poorest people in the world -- and jacked the price from $13.50/dose to $750/dose.

1) Is this a medicine for the first world who venture into the 3rd world? Or for people living in the 3rd world? Otherwise, who the hell can afford either price?

2) Given the Gates foundation's efforts to take on Malaria, they should buy the rights to this drug if it really works.

3) In a related news, the Gates Foundation and other orgs have made a lot of head way in treating parasite infections in the 3rd world.

Starts bleak - has happy ending:


#3

...and be much less likely to be sued than anyone else who tried it.

(also, such savings are entirely possible when using child labor)


#4

What post is Shkreli taking in the new Rage Mango administration?


#5

"Let's see...how can I publicly ridicule the efforts if a bunch of school children who obviously know nothing about business while again pointing out that the exorbitant price of this product covers the cost of innovation (that I am in no way part of)? I know! I'll make the irrelevant and tone deaf comment that their class project wasn't very innovative and is therefore worthless."


#6

I'm sure the costs are not near to the price they are charging, but there are a lot of regulations that a pharmaceutical company has to adhere to that a classroom does not. I have a friend who is a project manager at a place that creates prescription creams, and there is a lot of tracking of the process that has to go on in case of a recall. I'm sure their price is outrageous but there are other costs involved besides just synthesizing the drug. It has to be done in a repeatable fashion and in correct dosages. Packaging has to be secure. Lots have to be traceable.


#7

SEC head?


#8

FDA Commissioner?


#9

From the linked article:

Mr Shkreli said the price rise was to extract money from insurance companies to fund research for better drugs.

Can you imagine any other industry trying to do this? Like if you asked why a pair of headphones was so expensive and the salesperson told you it was so they could fund research for even better headphones in the future. Why would I want to pay for research for a product that's not the one I'm purchasing?

It's standard practice that the cost for research is factored into the cost of the finished product, not the inferior current product. And research is financed by investors who bear the risk if the research is unsuccessful or reap the reward if it is successful.

He says anybody in the US without insurance who needs the drug can get the drug for free.

This is how they get away with it - by hiding behind insurance companies. Instead of the cost falling on the person who takes the expensive drug, it's spread out among their entire insurance pool. So we're all paying for it whether we realize it or not. This is why 20 cents on every dollar goes to health care in the US.


#10

It's a bit disingenuous to refer to 17-year old "year 11" students as "boys" and "schoolchildren". I'd also be concerned about the relative purity of the result; ascertaining that sort of thing isn't necessarily cheap.

It seems quite reasonable to say that the only reason he's responding to things like this at all is because he craves attention, and it is definitely working. No doubt we can expect him to make a run at the Republican ticket a few decades down the line.


#11


#12

This is true, they have to have plenty of procedures to ensure that there's no contamination, quality control looks correct, etc. And there's overhead, regulations, etc.
However that argument does start to fall apart when you see plenty of other life saving drugs on the market priced cheaply or reasonably affordable. But even if a high cost is justified, any innovation that will bring the cost down is welcome. These students and the teacher are doing great work :slight_smile: I hope something comes of it.


#13

Like that really matters. Might as well just say "there's nothing innovative about taking aspirin for a headache." So what, the headache is gone.


#14

He hasn't sued them yet?


#15

No pharmaceutical company would be suicidal enough to sue a school for doing educational projects. After all the research they did was not for commercial reasons, but it does bring up a question that if the school were to come up with a genuine cheap alternative process that can be patented or commercialized i wonder how that would have to be handled.


#16

Martin Shkreli is concerned about bad publicity?


#17

I doubt he is. Other investors and board members i hope would shy away from further embarrassing themselves, but you never know...


#18

He's concerned that he doesn't have enough of it?


#19

Oh, the price is totally outrageous, but I just wanted to say that a manufacturer's costs are for more than just the drug extraction - like quality control.


#20

First the ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they badmouth you, then you run him over with a mac truck and leave his carcass in the street.

I'm paraphrasing a bit.