Martin Shkreli is a name I wish I could forget. This is the name of the man who single-handedly threw the world into a tailspin last week when he bought the rights to the medication Daraprim. Daraprim is an AIDS medication specializing in preventing Malaria and treating toxoplasmosis, a parasite infection. Shkreli, hedge-fund MSMB Capital founder, saw the potential of holding the rights to a high-demand prescription and dramatically increased the price from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill. This is equivalent to raising the price 5,000 percent. This unreasonable difference struck the hearts of people all over the world, earning Shkreli the unofficial title of “Most Hated Man on Earth,” with good reason if I do say so myself.
Shkreli basked in his pride in interviews following the breaking news. When asked how he sleeps at night, he simply responded “Ambien.”
There are really no words for how I personally feel about Shkreli. I can’t imagine what runs through an individual’s mind when making a decision they know can lead to the death of hundreds and thousands of people, let alone who can listen to those thoughts and continues to make the decision.
But, here’s the good news. No one is buying it. I’m sickened by the thought that there is a human being out there who could be so heartless and selfish as to keep a much needed resource from those who need it, but I am proud that students my age and adults across the globe are as equally disgusted by a man who worships nothing but power, fame and money.
Earlier in the year Shkreli donated $1 million to Hunter College High School, the school he credits with giving him a good foundation. Not only is this a huge sum, but it is the largest donation to a N.Y. public school in the state’s history. While you may expect students, parents and alumni to be honored, most have proclaimed that they want nothing to do with the “blood money” just because it came from Shkreli.
Shkreli is a self-proclaimed emo and punk rock music fan. He has supported Collect Records as well as individual artists signed to the label. Not only has Collect Records cut ties with Shkreli, but individual acts have proclaimed they will cut ties with Collect Records if the label continues to work with Shkreli on any level.
These are just a few examples of groups giving up their own aid from Shkreli in honor of those whom will never receive it. Shkreli became so uncomfortable with the lawsuits filed against him, online harassment and public disapproval that he made his twitter account private. He has also announced that he will be reducing the price of Daraprim, though he could not give an estimate of the future pill price.Of course he couldn’t. Typical Shkreli.
In an interview with The Guardian, Shkreli commented on the price reduction. “We might have to curtail research for several lethal diseases that we are seeking treatment for. We might have to fire people.” Well Shkreli, looks like you’re ruining lives either way.
Only time will tell if Shkreli truly makes things right, but I won’t hold my hopes too high. Let’s just stick to hoping that the mockery that has become Martin Shkreli points others away from making similar business moves and points many in the direction of caring for those who truly need assistance.