It looks as though Martin Shkreli’s claim that in order for his pharmaceutical company to stay afloat he had to jack up the price Daraprim, a drug used to treat life-threatening parasitic infections, by more than 5,000 percent was a bunch of B.S.
Shkreli made headlines this week when he raised price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet literally overnight. (FYI: The tablets cost approximately $1 each to produce.)
“This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients,” he told the New York Times. “It is us trying to stay in business.”
Shkreli was on the receiving end of a social media backlash of epic proportions, and labeled “America’s most hated man” by multiple media outlets. Shkeril’s snarky attitude on Twitter did not help his cause.
After eight hours of outcry, the 32-year-old ex-hedge-funder-turned-pharmaceutical-price-gouger says he’s lowering the price.
“Yes, it is absolutely a reaction,” Shkreli told NBC News. “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.”
He continued: “It’s very easy to see a large drug price increase and say ‘Gosh, those people must be gouging.’ But when you find out that the company is not really making any money, what does that mean?”
Shkreli went on to say that the situation is “very hard stuff” for non-business people to “understand” and implied that folks were getting far too emotionally wrapped up in the whole thing.
“I think in the society we live in today it’s easy to want to villainize people,” he said. “Obviously, we’re in an election cycle where this is very, very tough topic for people and it’s very sensitive. And I understand the outrage.”
Shkreli did not say what the new price of Daraprim will be, though he did say he’s concerned it won’t make him much moola. That totally sucks, man.
“We’ll know in several weeks how profitable the drug is, if it at all,” he said. “It may turn out that’s it not even profitable at all, even at this price.”
And as we all know, when it comes to healthcare in America, it must turn a profit. Otherwise, as Shkreli says, “what does it mean?”