Martin Shkreli Presumably Gutted After Teens Recreate His HIV Drug For £1.50

Remember Martin Shkreli? He was that dickhead who raised the price of a drugs used to treat HIV, malaria and chemotherapy patients. Not by a small amount, though, it was by an eye-watering 5,000 percent. So, literally overnight, the drug went from $13.50 (£10.70) to $750 (£596.12) per pill.

Understandably, he became a social pariah. Ex-girlfriends began slating him, and everyone and their nan was bitching about him. Initially, the hate scared him. He locked down his Twitter and went very quiet. However, after a while he embraced the hatred he was receiving.

At the end of the day, he was capitalising on people's health. That is something that people do every. Single. Day. However, he was picked up on it and he became the face of greed at the expense of the unhealthy's bank accounts. Rather than fight it, he let it over him like a warm blanket of 'fuck yous'.

Now, he may as well just move on as a group of 17-year-old kids have managed to replicate his anti-parasitic drug (Daraprim) with a $2 (£1.50) substitute.

Student Milan Leonard told ABC about the moment they realised they'd successfully replicated it in their school's laboratory at Sydney Grammar: "It was ecstatic, it was bliss, it was euphoric.

"After all of this time spent working and chemistry being such a high and low, after all the lows, after all the downs, being able to make this drug, it was pure bliss."


Brandon Lee, another student, said: "At first there was definitely disbelief.

"We spent so long and there were so many obstacles that we, not lost hope, but it surprised us like, 'oh, we actually made this material' and, 'this can actually help people out there'.

"So it was definitely disbelief but then it turned in to happiness as we realised we finally got to our main goal."

University of Sydney research chemist Dr Alice Williamson said: "The original route that we got, so the original recipe if you like to make this molecule, was from a patent that was referenced on Wikipedia.

"Now of course we checked to see if it looked reasonable ... but the route that was up actually had one step that involved a really dangerous chemical.

"The boys had to navigate a difficult step and do this in a different way, and they've managed to do that, and they've managed to do that in their high school laboratory."

The only problem is that their version of the drug is not yet FDA approved, but surely it's only a matter of time?

Featured image credit: PA Images

Mel Ramsay

Mel Ramsay is the Senior Journalist at PRETTY52 but has worked at LADbible Group as part of the LADbible editorial team since 2015. She started her career writing obituaries and funeral guides online. Since then, her work has been published in a wide variety of national and local news sites. She is part of the BBC's Generation project and has spoken about young people, politics and mental health on television, radio and online.

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