When hedge fund managers start taking over healthcare, disaster happens !
We woke up yesterday to some very unsettling news, a hedge fund manager starts a pharma company, takes over the rights for a drug and then jacks up the price. In a perfect world this wouldn’t happen, even in an imperfect world this wouldn’t happen, however in this world this just happened. Turing Pharma’s wannabee CEO Martin Shkreli has done the humanly unthinkable. He raised the price of an essential AIDS drug by over 5000%. The price of Daraprim tablet was raised from $13.50 to $750 overnight by this company which just bought some rights to the medicine and had invested nada in its R&D.
The smug CEO who should probably be running playgroups instead of deciding the fate of millions of people started an all out war on twitter, responding arrogantly with the (non)-elegance of a baboon. The price gouging as expected was criticised not only by the general public and doctors but many in the pharma industry itself. By evening the twitter war took a much graver turn for the CEO, when Kurt Eichenwald on his twitter feed suggested that the feds may soon go after him. From tax violations to stock manipulation, he seemed to suggest that Martin would be the subject of a legal witchhunt and lets be real, no jury is selecting non-guilty. At the end it looked like that Kurt had found some sort of a whistleblower :
Hey, @MartinShkreli! Guess what I found! You naughty, naughty boy. Say hi to Mr. Currie for me. And now, ur doomed.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 21, 2015
My view is very simple on this, I love capitalism, its one of the things that makes American super great. however there needs to be a balance of forces. Just like Nestle cannot take over all the water on earth, you cannot just raise the price of a life saving drug by 5000% and think that the world wouldn’t care. If your company isn’t profitable, fix it honestly keeping your greed in check, don’t buy drugs and try to exploit a monopoly.