Because News

Meet the Pharmacy Brothers: take a cheap drug and flip it

This week on #rageworthy, we rage against the pharmaceutical CEO who increased the price of a drug by 5,000 per cent.
Martin Shkreli, CEO of New York City-based Turing Pharmaceuticals, pictured in a photo posted on his Twitter feed, says hiking the price of anti-parasitic medication Daraprim by 5,000 per cent allows the company to make 'a reasonable profit.' (Twitter)

This week all the fingers of the Internet came together to form a fist, pointed squarely at the jaws of injustice.

Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and future James Bond villain, bought the rights to the drug Daraprim, which is used to treat patients with compromised immune systems.

No, you just can't stay in as nice a hotel in Ibiza and we all know it buddy.- Ashley Botting

He jacked the price from $13.50 to $750 — a modest increase of 5,000 per cent.

After facing huge online backlash, he conceded, saying he will drop the price. He didn't specify by how much.

Shkreli told The Guardian, "We might have to curtail research for several lethal diseases that we are seeking treatments for. We might have to fire people."

Is this story worth our rage?

"I'm really tired of the pharma people saying we have to charge $9-million for that pill because we had to do two or three days of research. We had to kill a number of rats and some bunnies and that don't come cheap," raged comedian Mary Walsh. 

"He's playing the martyr, he's like, 'Now I can't help the dying," said Ashley Botting moaned. "No, you just can't stay in as nice a hotel in Ibiza and we all know it, buddy."

Because News host Gavin Crawford wondered if the huge price hike was actually a good thing for the public.

"Is it a case where there was a hole in the fence and it was okay if you brought one or two friends through and this guy was like, 'I'm going to bring 50 people into the drive-in for free,' and all the pharma companies were like 'Dude, you're blowing it for everybody!'?"

Anand Rajaram thought he might have actually benefited from the bad publicity — by getting his name into the news.

"What he's doing is playing the Trump game. He's getting media attention for nonsense," he said.

Introducing the Pharmacy Brothers

Inspired by this story, CBC has launched a new lifestyle show, The Pharmacy Brothers.* Because News got an exclusive sneak peek.

Meet the Pharmacy Bros: take a cheap med and flip it

6 years ago
0:35
This week on The Pharmacy Bros, they take a cheap medication, add nothing to it, and flip it for 5000 per cent of the original price. Catch the latest episode of the Pharmacy Bros at www.cbc.ca/becausenews 0:35

What do you think? Is this story #rageworthy? Take our poll.

*The CBC actually hasn't launched this show. We just made it up.

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