By XIAO LYU
This week, Martin Shkreli, the 32-year old CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York, has earned the title “most-hated man in America.”
Turing Pharmaceuticals bought a drug called Daraprim, the drug can fight toxoplasmosis, which infects people whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS. However, the company raised the price from $13.50 to $750 for one tablet. According to the latest announcement, the increase of price has been rescinded under the pressure of public opinion.
The conflict was rising when presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said on her Twitter account on Monday: “Price-gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on.”
However, Shkreli has used television interviews and his own social media account to defend the company and himself.
He told The New York Times earlier, “This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business.”
Recently, in the interview by CNBC, he said that the infection Daraprim is used to treat had been ignored by the pharmaceutical industry because there was little money to be made. He claimed that the money will be able to educate doctors about the disease, improve delivery to patients, and develop better drugs for the infection.
There is no hope for saving his reputation, especially due to his way of responding on Twitter.
He wrote on Twitter on Monday, “It seems like the media immediately points a finger at me so I point one back at ‘em, but not the index or pinkie.”
He also said that Twitter seems to be a great medium for socialist and liberal rage and declared once again the price of drug will be a great thing for society. According to CNN Money, Shkreli was fired when he was the CEO of Retrophin. The reason he was fired, in addition to his poor management skills, was his irritating Twitter usage.
The whole issue is causing biotechnology stocks to fall across the board, involving the lively attention of the government, politicians, the healthcare field, and the financial industry. At the same time, the explosion of social media and TV networks have also made it a hot topic around the world.