Updated 06:41 AM EDT, Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Martin Shkreli Answers AMA Questions from Reddit Users, Explains Why He Raised the Price of Daraprim So Drastically

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Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an outrage last month when they increased the price of the life-saving AIDS medication, Daraprim from $13.50 to $750. In an Ask Me Anything (AMA), CEO Martin Shkreli attempted to answer questions from Reddit users, from wealth, power and of course, the AIDS drugs.

When asked about dealing with all the hate he got on social media, especially after he raised the price of Daraprim, Shkreli said, It doesn't really affect me personally. Most comments are from those very uneducated on the issues. Anyone who engages with me tends to come away more calm and understanding.

He also shared about the research that Turing is currently doing, saying that the company is currently "developing a drug for suicidality and PTSD, which will start Phase 3 trials shortly. We are developing a drug for a fatal pediatric epilepsy which is just starting trials now." He also added that they have half a dozen drugs for deadly rare diseases in animal research.

Speaking of animals, he was Shkreli was also asked about his stance on animal testing, which he said is a "tremendously sad but necessary" act. "The FDA makes us do toxicology experiments on rats, dogs and monkeys. In some ways it makes sense and sometimes it does not," he added.

Another pharmaceutical company created a $1 alternative to Daraprim, but when asked about his intent to invest in research despite the very cheap alternative, he said he is still invested in their own drug as Imprimis Pharmaceutical's version "isn't really and alternative."

And then there are the questions about the price raise of Daraprim. One user asked why he bought the company if he knew he would have to raise the price of the drug, to which he responded that it "helps patients", adding that "at the end of the day -- their lives matter."

Someone else asked what makes Daraprim better than others and what changes and upgrades are made to the drug to warrant the raise. "Our pyrimethamine is the same pyrimethamine for 70 years. I would like to create a more potent pyrimethamine which would be more efficacious and have few side effects (including not requirin folinic acid co-administration)," Shkreli said.

Of course, it spawned for a longer discussion about drug mechanisms and what not, but in the end, Shkreli is maintaining that he does not think it's wrong for them to raise the price of Daraprim, especially considering that they need more funds for research.

You can read the rest of Shkreli's AMA here. How do you think he handled the questions?

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