A 32-year old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals has copped social media backlash after it was revealed he raised the price of an AIDS drug by 4,000 per cent.
Hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli (pictured above) recently brought the rights to the drug Daraprim, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection that can cause serious complications in people with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS patients, as well as in babies born to women who became infected during pregnancy.
Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the drug in August for US$55 million, the company then raised the price of the 63 year old drug from US$13.50 to US$750 per pill.
Shkreli claimed the money from the increase would be used to develop better drug treatment for toxoplasmosis with fewer side effects. Shkreli appeared on CNBC to justify the 4,000 per cent increase:
Twitter wasn’t buying what Shreli was selling:
Martin Shkreli gives me major Lou Bloom vibes in both personality and appearance. They even have the same haircut. pic.twitter.com/84k9xzGKGb
— The Toad Warrior (@KendrickLaMario) September 22, 2015
— Andrew McNair (@melvillean) September 22, 2015
#MartinShkreli, you deserve all the worst in the world. How someone so greedy and evil can exist outside a Bond film is beyond me
— Steven Garelick (@sleevin_steven) September 21, 2015
— George Hnasko (@geebee101010) September 21, 2015
Can’t we all just agree that #MartinShkreli has the most punchable face on the internet?
— The Canada Party (@theCanadaParty) September 22, 2015
— Calamity Jane (@LetoileSan) September 22, 2015
In response to the twitter backlash, Shkreli told CNBC that the price tag would be dropped in the coming weeks. “Yes it is absolutely a reaction — there were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action, I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people,” Shkreli said, 32.