The name of former hedge-fund manager Martin Shkreli shot to notoriety last year when the pharmaceutical company he co-founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, jacked up prices of Daraprim, a 62-year-old antiparasitic drug now used by patients with weakened immune systems, by over 5,000%.
While Turing reduced the drug’s price in the wake of the outrage, the so-called Pharma Bro has stayed in the public eye ever since. From getting arrested for securities fraud tied to another pharma firm he’d run to splurging $2 million to snap up the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin rap album, he has become a lightning rod on social media.
So, when news came from Australia that some students in a Sydney high school had replicated Daraprim at roughly $2 a dose, snarky comments naturally flooded in (where else?) on Twitter. He responded to the students and their feat in a 55-second video on YouTube.
In classic, restrained Shkreli style, he also showed his critics how he was taking the reports in stride.
He had no issues with Twitter users’ schadenfreude, completely.
Twitter even curated a Moments post to document Shrkeli’s tweets, which the pharma entrepreneur gladly shared with everyone else.
The series of reactions acquired a decidedly — shall we say, Breaking Bad? — taste toward the end.