Martin Shkreli Congratulates Australian Students for Recreating Life-Saving Drug

Staff Writer | Fortune | December 2, 2016

Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has congratulated a group of Australian students who reproduced the active ingredient for a life-saving, anti-parasitic drug at the centre of a drug-price controversy involving his former company. The students from Sydney Grammar School drew global media attention this week after they said they had produced the drug Daraprim for about $2 a dose, a fraction of the current list price of $750 per dose. Shkreli is a former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, where he sparked outrage among patients and U.S. lawmakers for raising the price of Daraprim by more than 5,000%.

"These Australian students are proof that the 21st century economy will solve problems of human suffering through science and technology," Shkreli said in a video message posted on YouTube. "We should congratulate these students for their interest in chemistry and I'll be excited about what is to come in this STEM-focused 21st century," he said, referring to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Daraprim is used to fight parasitic infections in AIDS patients, pregnant women and others. The six students and their science teacher worked under the guidance of the University of Sydney and members of the Open Source Malaria consortium, which allows scientists to share research on anti-malaria drugs. "We had to repeat a lot of the reactions and try different reaction conditions in order to see which materials in which things would react to make the Daraprim," student Brandon Lee told Reuters Television on Friday...