If you don't know his name, you probably know his face — not to mention his drug company's recent 5,000 percent price increase for a generic medication used to treat cancer and AIDS patients.
Martin Shkreli (Image source: Inform)
Martin Shkreli was widely criticized late last month after his Turing Pharmaceuticals announced an increase in the price of Daraprim — the only approved treatment for a life-threatening parasitic infection — from $13.50 to $750 per capsule after buying rights to sell the drug.
But now the former hedge fund manager has competition.
A San Diego biomedical company on Thursday announced it's selling an alternate medication to Daraprim for $1 a capsule, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, told the paper that one catch is that its formula isn't FDA-approved and may be sold only through a doctor's prescription to a specific person. He added that the process of getting FDA approval would take years and cost millions, while not filing keeps prices low and profits higher.
Shkreli initially said the price increase of Daraprim was needed to fund future research on the 60-year-old drug, which some doctors said wasn't needed. Then Shkreli backed off and said he would reduce the price. A Turing spokesman last week told The Associated Press that the company is still determining the "most appropriate price for Daraprim" but has capped per-prescription co-payments at $10 for patients with commercial insurance and $1 for Medicaid beneficiaries. It's also offering Daraprim free for patients who can't afford it, according to Edward Painter, head of communications and investor relations.
In the meantime, Shkreli has been doing battle on Twitter defending his actions —
We spend more than 50% of our revenue on R&D. Please get your facts straight before lumping us in with others. @robzirk@PhRMA— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 22, 2015
— but the news of his competition seemed to delight many:
Rmbr the guy who hiked up e price of a drug? He's got a taste of his own medicine by @LevineJonathanhttps://t.co/2l7Kv0EnaQ via @MicNews— Dian Maisara (@dian_maisara) October 23, 2015
@MartinShkreli Going out of Business Sale? We can but hope...— Tony Cave (@toynavec) October 23, 2015
This is so awesome.. Congrats to the company that did this. https://t.co/8zEeDEF8qv— Weird Guy (@weirdbr) October 23, 2015
The Most Hated Man in America Is Getting a Taste of His Own Medicine https://t.co/7dwb1s7KGQ— omega (@omega70007) October 23, 2015
But some defended the CEO:
@StLouMoGriff@MartinShkreli I am a survivor. Its just fact, funds are required for R&D & for those treatment options to make it to us.— Dana C (@dragonladydc) October 23, 2015
After following him, I actually think @MartinShkreli is funny & intelligent. We need to remember how media spins things before judging.— Jenny (@jennydrinks) October 22, 2015
All trolling aside, I've been inundated with support, resumes & even women who want a date. To think the whole world dislikes me is foolish.— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 17, 2015
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
(H/T: Raw Story)
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