High School Students Have Made Martin Shkreli’s $750 Drug For Just $2

By: | December 19th, 2016

Image courtesy wikipedia

Last year, hedge-fund-manager-turned-pharmaceutical-company-CEO Martin Shkreli outraged the world by increasing the price of an essential drug.

He acquired the U.S. rights to the lifesaving anti-parasitic drug Daraprim and raised the price by more than 5,000%…from $13.50 to $750 a tablet. Now, a group of high school students from Sydney, Australia has produced the same drug for just $2.

These students created 3.7 grams of Pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim in their chemistry lab for just $20. As per the current rate charged by Shkreli’s company, the price would be between $35,000 and $110,000.

Daraprim is on the essential medicines list of WHO (World Health Organization). It is an anti-parasitic medicine which is used to treat infections like toxoplasmosis and malaria and is also given to patients with low immune systems, for example, people living with HIV, chemotherapy patients, and pregnant women.

By recreating Daraprim in the school lab, these students from Sydney Grammar School have shown how exorbitant the pricing of this life-saving drug really is.

The students have been attempting to replicate pyrimethamine as part of an after-school chemistry program ever since the price hike for Darprim was announced last year.

Image courtesy University of Sydney

Image courtesy University of Sydney

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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