American hedge funder Martin Shkreli increases price of Aids-related drug by 5,000pc

A hedge fund manager in America has sparked fury among health experts and patients by buying the rights to a drug used to treat conditions related to Aids and cancer, and increasing its price by 5,000 per cent overnight.

Martin Shkreli, a bullish 32-year-old New York businessman, who revels in a lavish lifestyle, purchased Daraprim in August. The drug is used to treat treat toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection that can cause life-threatening problems for those with weakened immune systems, such as unborn babies, Aids sufferers and some cancer patients.

The pills were being sold for $13.50 (£8.75) each, but Mr Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, increased the price immediately to $750. Treatment requires a course of 100 pills.

Don’t call it a scandal: Volkswagen corruption is a syndrome

Okay, so you will not buy a Volkswagen. A Chevrolet instead? Watch out for the ignition. Or how about a Toyota? Just duck as the airbag comes your way. Do you, by any chance, see a pattern? Have we been thinking?

In Europe, the United States, Japan and most everywhere else, something is going on. There is a level of sheer corruption that transcends the automobile industry.

How about banking in the United States and Europe? How about politics, most everywhere? Now Brazil is receiving a lot of attention, while the utter corruption of U.S. politics – private money in public elections, a level of lobbying out of control – carries merrily along.

A good deal of the corruption is criminal, and so can be prosecuted. So why don’t we prosecute corporate criminals, and not just corporate crimes? And why don’t we set the fines to indicate that corporate crime doesn’t pay?


Below is the denouement  to a story I followed for some time and leads to my point…  it pays to be a white collar collar criminal in Canada – Big Time.

BMO settles with most in Alberta mortgage fraud lawsuit

BMO says hundreds of people, mostly new immigrants, were recruited to apply for about $70 million in falsely inflated mortgages involving more than 200 properties between 2006 and 2007. BMO contended the alleged fraud was carried out by 325 people, including mortgage brokers, appraisers, realtors, bank employees and lawyers.

The bank’s investigators claim the scheme’s organizers ultimately wired money from the alleged fraud to several countries including Lebanon, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. The settlement does not mean a finding of liability.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    More immigrants and their quaint little ways.
    Detain, strip of all wealth, deport.

    • Canada is so dumb. We have become an easy mark for every 3rd world crook.

      • BillyHW

        We have the stupidest women in the world.

        • Xavier

          and they vote!

          • David Murrell

            Yes! Things are so much better in Saudi Arabia!

          • BillyHW

            I think we managed pretty well before women’s suffrage, and we were nothing like Saudi Arabia.

          • David Murrell

            Sorry, women are not children.

  • BillyHW

    The drug is 63 years old and long out of patent. Find another supplier, or if there are none currently, make a contract with one of the other drug manufacturers to make it. It will be a PR victory for them. And then, don’t ever buy from this guy again. Problem solved, with the free market.

    I can read this bullshit in my facebook feed, Blaze. (And with fewer ads.)

    • DD_Austin

      The turd knows that too
      He’ll make his money in the lag while he has a monopoly, he has some months, perhaps even a year

      That’s why 5000%

      He isn’t in for the long haul, it’s a pillage and burn your bridges business

    • Xavier

      Let him raise prices to whatever he wants; the free market will decide.

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        The “free market” presumes healthy, legitimate, and unfettered competition.
        This story has none of those elements.
        He’s just a scumbag.

        • BillyHW

          The Free Market implies that anyone is free to stop him, if they want to.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            Even after the cost of tooling up and putting a competing drug on the market, that drug will now cost more to the American consumer than it did before, and in my book, that’s not a good nor desirable thing.
            No, this guy is a scumbag that is gaming the system.
            Screw him!

    • Those ads pay the bills here Billy.

      • BillyHW

        More French volleyball butts then!

    • FactsWillOut

      I’m aghast at all the folk here falling for CBC’s commie bullshit.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Banking and pharmaceutical executives are quick to lavish a modest portion of their substance on political campaigns. That is why they are not only too big to fail, they are also too big to go to jail.

    • FactsWillOut

      Unlike, say, petrochemical, transport, and any other huge, profitable companies.

  • This guy sounds like an @$$.

    • ntt1

      I think he would benefit from having his knees broken.

    • Xavier

      For the picture alone, someone needs to beat the shit out of him just on general principles.

  • Xavier

    Combine all the corruption, graft, and back rooms deals, mix in PC and feminism, let it ferment for a couple decades… and there’s Hillary.

  • FactsWillOut

    The man has every right to sell the drug at whatever price he likes.
    It’s an old drug, and others can manufacture it.
    If I have 1000 doses of penicillin, am I obligated to sell them to the sick at a price determined by others? Or would these so-called enlightened types tell me I should give them away, “for the children!!!”, and feel justified when they rob me?

    • Justin St.Denis

      Nobody else will, but I agree with you. The guy is an opportunist and probably a scumbag at a moral level, but he is doing nothing illegal. Given that his actions – however legal they may be – actually result in victims, however, does mean that what he is doing is unconscionable to the vast majority.

      Regardless of his wealth, I want him nowhere near my pretty young daughter.

    • No one is suggesting that he just give away the drugs, just not that he sell it at an inflated price to desperate sick people and then be a total douche.

      • FactsWillOut

        Myself, I think the guy is a hero.

        GlaxoSmithKline decided to dump an unprofitable drug. Shkreli’s startup Turing Pharmaceuticals bought THE RIGHTS to it. It seems that it was within the reach, pricewise, of his enterprise, and no-one else wanted it, not Pfizer, not AstraZenica, no-one. GlaxoSmithKline would have stopped making it anyway, thus the act of selling the rights to it. It costs millions to tool up to FDA standards and start manufacturing a drug, and Turing Pharmacorp has to start almost from zero.

        If it were not for Shkreli’s start-up company, the drug would have disappeared from the market altogether, then no drug for anyone, at any price.

        This is just the standard mewling of communists who think they have some moral right to dictate how others should spend their money.

        • So he jacks up the price to the point where it is too expensive to buy?

          And I thought the point was to get people to buy one’s drug.

          Not even Big Pharma is that loosey-goosy.

          • FactsWillOut

            It’s the brand name of a generically available drug.

            Big Pharma has eydrops that sell for $120 /ml. that’s almost half a million/gallon. Making drugs IS EXPENSIVE.

          • Big Pharma doesn’t jack up prices so that no one can buy it.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      What if you are the one that corners the market on a lifesaving drug like penicillin?

      Because it has been so cheap for so long, and nobody else is making it because the market will not effectively support too much competition in that segment, you then have a sole-source cartel or a monopoly, and those practices have been illegal for decades.

      Regulate these generic drugs like a public utility.
      Problem forever solved!

      • FactsWillOut

        You mean force the pharmacorps to manufacture it?
        I wouldn’t take a drug made at gunpoint.

        • Drunk_by_Noon

          Utility-like regulation is not quite the same thing.
          It takes millions to tool up to FDA standards to manufacture any prescribed drug, even as minor as an aspirin substitute.
          No manufacturer is going to step into that breach tomorrow when the competition just has to lower their prices and put you out of business just as fast as you got into the market.

          Unrestrained capitalism looks like something between China and 19th century England and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live in either place just to protect the Coke and whore habits of some scumbag.

          • FactsWillOut

            Well, if the market is too small to support the costs of manufacturing it, I guess the guy should just close shop. Then no drug for anyone.

            Here’s what probably happened: GlaxoSmithKline dumps unprofitable drug. Guy buys it for a song and a dance, and tries to make his company solvent and make some money. Bunch of commies start calling him greedy.

            Calling China unrestrained capitalism is ridiculous.

            China is pure fascism.

          • Drunk_by_Noon

            No, what happened was that he bought a sleepy but still profitable small pharmaceutical company and then jacked up the prices 5000% on the drugs that were no longer made by anyone else.
            He has a monopoly, as since we don’t allow monopolies in our country unless they get regulated like a utility, it is HE who is trying to abuse the system.

            Why are you standing up for this guy?
            If his practices caused the death of anybody, he needs to be tried for some flavor of homicide.

            What gave you the idea that “pure” capitalism would look like anything else other than China?
            Put antifreeze in food? Sure! If the free market doesn’t like it then they can buy something else!
            Sell fake rice make out of waste paper and water soluble resins? Hell yeah!
            Fake pork dumpling filling make from cardboard and salted waste oils? Yeah, why not?

            That’s what life without regulation soon looks like.

          • FactsWillOut

            It seems you believe CBC for a change.
            He bought to rights to the drug, and has to spend big bucks himself for his start-up pharmacorp Turing Pharmaceuticals to start manufacturing it.

            Spare me your stateist commie BS. Fraud isn’t part of capitalism.

          • FactsWillOut

            “If his practices caused the death of anybody, he needs to be tried for some flavor of homicide.”

            If I have a shovel for sale for $50, and some guy comes into my store, and says his wife got buried in a landslide, I’ll give you $ 5 for the shovel, my refusal to sell it to him would be homicide, according to your logic.

  • David Murrell

    We talked about thus as in my public finance class yesterday. Here we have a young fellow raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%, and who lives a lavish life style. I am not sure a guy like this does much to advance free-market conservatism.

    Here in my hometown, Wallmart donates food to the local foodbank, quietly with no publicity. I like this latter view of capitalism.

    • FactsWillOut

      Can’t have folks living lavish lifestyles, now can we?