The Guy Who Raised the Cost of the AIDS Drug Isn’t the Problem
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Martin Shkrelli is a hedge fund manager who has recently come under fire for being the world’s biggest piece of shit after it was revealed he raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Daraprim is used by both pregnant women and AIDS patients to literally save their lives.
The funny thing is that this isn’t the first time Shkrelli has done this. Also I’m going to try to stop saying “Shkrelli” because it makes my mouth do disgusting things. “Shkrelli.” Ugh. I’ll just call him “Shithead.”
Shithead did this last year, too, raising the cost of the drug Retrophin, used for treating a kidney disorder, by about 20 times.
Amusingly, he went on Reddit to defend himself for that, and he promised Redditors that he’d personally come up with solutions to make sure that people who needed the drug would still be able to access it. Instead, he just moved on and did it again to another group of sick people. Shithead.
After all the recent bad publicity, he agreed to lower the price of Daraprim again. But obviously, he’s a giant piece of shit and as soon as no one is looking, he’ll just do it again to a different life-saving medication.
That’s why this entire thing isn’t about Shithead at all. I fully endorse the public bollocking he’s received for his actions, but in the end, shaming one shithead isn’t enough. The US allows the pharmaceutical industry far too much power over the cost of their products, and it’s ridiculous that companies are allowed to charge inflated prices here while claiming it’s to fund research while spending all their money on marketing and leaving it to the National Institutes of Health to do the bulk of new drug research.
I say this as someone who is constantly accused of being in the pocket of Big Pharma, because I point out that homeopathy is bullshit and most chiropractors are dangerous loons. Unfortunately, Big Pharma is all we’ve got when it comes to science-based medicine, and so it’s incredibly important that we recognize that they do have a powerful lobby and sometimes the people who make up Big Pharma are in fact going to be some sociopathic douchebags who are more concerned with their bottom line than with saving lives.
So before you assume that the issue is solved because Shkrelli lowered the cost of Daraprim, remember that he’s done nothing about the other life-saving drugs he’s made into unobtainable luxury items and you probably didn’t hear anything about it. The only way to stop this from happening is governmental oversight, and the only way to do that is to elect politicians who aren’t in the pocket of major corporations.
Shit, this just turned into a Bernie Sanders video, didn’t it?