ABC News Australia reports:
For $US20, a group of high school students has created 3.7 grams of an active ingredient used in the medicine Daraprim, which would sell in the United States for between $US35,000 and $US110,000. Pyrimethamine, the active ingredient in Daraprim, treats a parasitic infection in people with weak immune systems such as pregnant women and HIV patients.
In August 2015, the price of Daraprim in the US rose from $US13.50 per tablet to $US750 when Turing Pharmaceuticals, and its controversial then-chief executive Martin Shkreli, acquired the drug’s exclusive rights and hiked up the price.
Since then, the 17-year-olds from Sydney Grammar have worked in their school laboratory to create the drug cheaply in order to draw attention to its inflated price overseas, which student Milan Leonard said was “ridiculous”.
In most countries, including Australia, Daraprim is sold for between $1 to $2 per pill. A second US-based company, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, made an alternative compound to Daraprim — sold for US$1 a dose — but the drug is not FDA-approved.
Shkreli is awaiting trial on multiple felony securities fraud charges.