AUSTRALIA: Teen Scientists Recreate Key Ingredient In Pharma Douche’s Drug For Pennies Per Dose

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.

  • Lumpy Gaga
  • bkmn

    Shouldn’t that last sentence read:
    “Shkreli is awaiting a pardon and a position in Trump’s cabinet.”

  • Anastasia Beaverhousen

    It should read.. “Shkreli is awaiting a cabinet position in the Trump Evil Empire.”

    • Timothy Ward

      When I saw his face, I suddenly realized that THAT was the only missing face from the current assembly of supervillains

      • That’s a face that only a mother could love … but then again jackals love all their pups.

        • Uncle Mark

          I was thinking rat-faced, and you’re right only his mother could love him, but like many, vermin she probably tried to eat her young

        • Grumpy Old Man
        • JuanGalicia

          A very dear friend of mine has THE EXACT SAME FACE… it’s unnerving.. And unfortunate, which is why I hope someone kicks his teeth in so he looks different already.

        • DirtyPierre

          yes with a little bit of mayonnaise

        • Librarykid

          reminds me of the joke that the baby was so ugly that the doctor slapped the mother.

    • JIM W

      Probably will head the FDA.

      • glass

        And/or the SEC.

        • chrisinphx

          I was just thinking the same thing about the SEC.

          • Vedadmccarthy

            Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj74d:
            On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash74MarketServerGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!mj74d:….,……

    • Brian in Valdosta

      By the looks of Drumpf’s other appointment, I would guess that Pharmadouche would be the next Secretary of Health.

    • William

      He can be Barron’s tutor.

      • saucetin

        As much as his dad is a cancer on NY, I’d rather that kid
        have a tutor than a tumor. Pharma-wang? Don’t give one damn.

  • SunsetGay

    This reminds me of the scene in The Help when Minnie serves Miss Hilly a “chocolate” pie.

    What is poor Martin to do? Perhaps he can find a job in the Trump Administration.

  • Matt

    This is good news. I just wish it was easier for Americans to access prescription drugs from foreign markets. It would certainly help alleviate the challenge of affording pills from companies like those run by Pharma-Douche.

    • pch1013

      Blame Bush.

    • vorpal

      This is part of the reason that I love “research chemicals.”

      Many types of drugs that you might want are available deliverable legally to your door at a fraction the cost the pharm companies would charge, with no prescription necessary.

      • NancyP

        Dosing depends on the carrier material in the drug, which can retard absorption until it clears the stomach acid. Inert compounds do matter.

        • vorpal

          Obviously, but there are routes of administration other than oral. Some knowledge of the substances in question, as well as a fairly accurate mg scale, are essential.

    • Snarkaholic

      A former co-worker of mine visited Venezuela and told me that:
      1. Here, in the U.S., birth control pills are around $30 per month and require a prescription.
      2. In Venezuela, they cost only Fifty Cents per month(!), and no scrip is needed.

      • JCF

        I seriously doubt you can get them in Venezuela at just about any price these days.

      • Texndoc

        In Venezuela these days you can’t even get a loaf of bread or carton of milk. The population walks into neighboring countries to shop.

  • sherman
  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    We need our global friends now more than ever. They are the one’s who will eventually save us.

    • Lumpy Gaga
      • another_steve

        That scene is perhaps the most over-the-top scene in all of cinematic history.

        If you’re gay and you don’t squeal while watching it, you’re deficient.

        • Xuuths

          And she was hungover when it was filmed.

          • another_steve

            Thank you.

            Look at the cleavage.

            Is that not perfection?

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Natural, I presume.

          • another_steve

            Hyperbole aside, Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most beautiful women ever to have lived.

            Even in her final years, her natural beauty shone through.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            I had the good fortune to meet her twice. Our eyes locked both times. My eyes are as light green as hers were lavender. I was flattered.

          • another_steve

            Girl did very important HIV/AIDS-awareness work. This, in a time when general public awareness was very low.

            A good woman.

            An incredible talent.

            A good human being.

          • Robincho

            Not below the wrists, it didn’t…

          • Yes.

        • Piet

          Hermes Pan’s last great dramatic film. He only made two films after this, both musicals. The choreography he devised for scenes in Cleopatra was characteristic and over the top, the culmination of years of experience. Hollywood spectacle ran a little bit grayer when he retired.

          • another_steve

            Plus he did all that before the age of CGI.

            Today, if you need 10,000 peasants in the background, you digitally insert them.

            Back then, not.

          • Piet

            The kid definitely had style, and he knew how to push the ponies around.

        • perversatile
      • perversatile

        From ‘How To Be A Star’ by William Mann
        Elizabeth was a smoldering siren who lured helpless men away from their wives, but she was also a bit of an oddball. Liz Smith recalled the time the star was invited to dinner by a wealthy admirer.
        “Who is this person?” Elizabeth asked, insisting that she did not visit people whom she did not know. But when told the gentleman liked to “dress up in satin ball gowns and sticky tape a diamond tiara over his bald spot,” she had second thoughts.
        “Oh, why he’s one of us then,” she said. “Of course I’ll go.”

        • lymis

          What a delightful approach to life!

        • DonnaLee

          This makes me like her a bit more than I already did.

      • ultragreen

        You’re obsessing on Elizabeth Taylor for some reason.

        • another_steve

          And that’s a bad thing?

  • This is all a bit misleading.

    The cost of materials to actually produce a drug – pretty much any drug – is very low. That’s not where the real “cost” for pharmacetucals lies, though.

    It takes years and sometimes millions of dollars to abide by the regulation surrounding bringing a new drug to market through the clinical trial process, not to mention the research put into it as well (plus any advertising and distribution costs and the enormous cost of liability insurance).

    • Sam_Handwich

      ok. so what changed in the area of research/regulation of Daraprim that prompted $736 per tablet increase last year?

      • Well, this isn’t to say that there isn’t price gouging or opportunism or greed. And Shkreli is a creep.

        I’m just pointing out that there’s a reason for the general high cost of medication.

        • Sam_Handwich

          this article is about a specific drug’s cost, not a general discussion of the pharma industry’s unthinkable trials and tribulations. but ok.

      • William

        Pharmaceutical companies have moved away from making a bunch of generic drugs, and specializing in only a few. That way there is less competition for generics. I’m sure there wasn’t any kind of planned effort for price fixing, that would be illegal.

    • Lumpy Gaga
      • another_steve

        I like that we’re doin’ Liz.

        Such a lady, she was.

        • Quite a dame in fact. Dame Elizabeth Taylor.

          BTW, I have it on the authority of an old friend who back in the day produced radio dramas in which she starred that she hated being called Liz. She was very British.

    • How much of that research and development is underwritten by the CDC?

      • Sam_Handwich

        not to mention that this drug has been sold in the US since 1953. all the start up costs were recovered decades ago

        • Cunning Linguist


    • djcoastermark

      You also forgot the cost of providing mega million dollar salaries for the big wigs.

      • pch1013

        And purchasing politicians.

    • William

      Pharmaceutical companies spend far more on advertising than they do on research and trials.

      • m_lp_ql_m

        “Hmmmm, causes slow, agonizing death. Let’s see, how can we market that?”

        • another_steve

          Lolol. Don’t you love that?

          “This drug is not for those with a beating heart or a functional liver. Clinical trials have shown that most people who take this drug die as a result.”

          • William

            I only watch the commercials for the side effects. There’s one that may cause breasts to produce milk and can also cause erections.

          • another_steve

            The “report to your doctor any erection lasting more than four hours” thingy has always, umm, appealed to me on a certain level.

            If, today, I can maintain an erection for more than five minutes, I’m impressed.

          • Earl

            It does, but I’m not about to forget the scene from the yankee version of queer as folk where they ‘experiment’ with that drug. 🙂

            “you asked for it…”

          • another_steve

            What a complicated and multi-faceted series that was. So many different currents.

            Sexual liberation (good). Sexual exploitation (bad). Sexual ambivalence (common).

          • William

            Careful, there’s a combination of Viagra and a certain type of heart medication that will cause an innie.

      • another_steve

        ^^ Word.

        Anyone who watches daytime TV and the constant drug commercials knows that.

        • William

          The evening news is a medication extravaganza.

          • another_steve

            “Do not take this drug if you are pregnant, considering having a child, or have children living within a square mile away from you.”

          • pch1013

            “If you die while taking Darnitol™®, call your doctor immediately.”

          • another_steve

            ^^ LOL.


          • Lumpy Gaga

            But not in a good way.

      • shrpblnd

        Pharmaceutical companies also like the current FDA clinical trial process as it is effectively a barrier to entry that means only well heeled giants can bring new drugs to the market. They may bitch about the process, but that’s lip service. The less competition the bigger the profits.

        Previous attempts to reform the clinical trial system so it costs less have been opposed by the drug makers through back room deals.

        • ultragreen

          This is also what happens in the defense industry among the big companies that compete for big government contracts. They don’t want competition from smaller companies, so they quietly support onerous and expensive government regulations governing defense contracts in order to keep the little guys out.

          I suspect the same thing applies to the Dodd-Frank act, which regulates Wall Street and the banking industry. Big banks and financial service companies may actually support the onerous regulations of this act so that smaller banks and financial service companies are less competitive and less likely to compete with them in providing loans and other financial services.

          Libertarians and conservatives completely miss (or ignore) the fact that onerous government regulations are often the result of secret lobbying by large monopolistic companies.

    • ultragreen

      The pharmaceutical company that increased the price of this drug in the US, while Shkreli was the CEO, did none of the research nor clinical trials in order to get this drug approved by the FDA. It simply acquired the exclusive right to sell this drug from another company, then it deliberately kicked up the price in order to exploit people who will die if they don’t buy this drug. This problem resides in the lack of competition among pharmaceutical companies in the US and the current set of laws regulating these companies.

    • lymis

      You know, the whole, “but research is expensive” and “the price of the drugs on sale cover the cost of the drugs that didn’t make it” logic would work a whole lot better if pharmaceutical stocks were not consistently among the higher returns on investment available.

      If the price of the drugs were really about the actual costs – including all the side costs – then pharmaceutical companies would be scraping by on modest profits. That ain’t happening.

      So that turns what sounds potentially logical into utter bullshit. And it’s utter bullshit that costs people their lives and destroys entire countries. It would be one thing to float that about why the latest tech gizmo costs oodles. It’s another to float it to explain why people can’t afford their meds.

    • The_Wretched

      Pharmaceutical companies are massively profitable and R&D is a fraction of their total costs.

  • another_steve

    Put him in jail.

    In the same cell with a horny Governor Chris Christie.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      That’s unconstitutional. Cruel and unusual punishment.

      • another_steve

        Plus it would absolutely crush the cot bed.

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          There’s always behind the dumpster, always a favorite of mine.

          • William

            There used to be an abandoned house in Austin I was quite fond of.

          • Tor

            I was recently in Austin. I looked for you at Oil Can Harry’s.

          • William

            It’s been years since I’ve been to Oil Can’s. They have (or had) way to much attitude for me. About the only time I go out in Austin is Halloween.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            The one with the green shag carpeting?

          • another_steve

            Prison rape is, of course, not funny… yet, a fuckin’ ton of gay porn features it as a theme.

            Just sayin’…

          • Earl

            Fantasy vs reality. vov

            Do it for real, stay in jail. Play acting can be fun, as long as you all follow the rules.

          • another_steve

            Well said.

            “Rape” is a naturally-occurring sexual fantasy — for both gay and straight people.

            As a compassionate people, we don’t do it, in reality, with anyone who isn’t fully consenting.

            But it’s okay to fantasize about it.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Prison sex is not always prison rape.

          • another_steve



      • Beagle

        For which one?

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          Both, come to think of it.

    • Natty Enquirer

      That would flatten his ego.

  • Kelly Lape

    Welcome to the Fourth Reich. Where profit before life is now the norm. Pharma Douche will undoubtedly be pardoned by the Fuehrer.

    • ColdCountry

      I dunno. He’s a loser, and Trump don’t like losers.

  • Lazycrockett
  • Cylux
    Who’s watched this before?

    • William

      kill the reverb.

    • Rebecca Gardner

      What app is that?

  • Octavio

    I think I’ll go out and buy a deluxe edition chemistry set today.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Well hello there buddy. Glad you’re back. 👍

    • vorpal

      Yay!!! Octavio!!!

      • William

        He’s down south, getting our rooms ready for the mass evacuation in January.

      • Octavio

        Mejor vivir gracias a la química. ¡Viva Vorpalito!

        • vorpal

          Qué bueno. No sabía que tu estaba enfermo.
          Siento como uno amigo terrible.
          La vida siempre esta mejor con química.
          Y creo que si estudiaría más español, mi vida también estaría más bien.

        • Librarykid

          Dupont’s motto

  • dr tod

    I used to give physician samples of the birth control pills to many young girls as needed. I had so many free samples that they filled an entire shelf. I read that production was cheap and it was more expensive to make the round plastic packs than the pills themselves. I absolutely can not wrap my mind around the new very very inflated price of the birth control pill. The better half deserves better!

    • The_Wretched

      PHARMA doesn’t really have competition and the republicans got a federal law that prevents price controls of any kind as well as federal programs from negotiating a bulk price.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    And under Trump’s Administration appointing the anti-education idiot as Secretary of Education our students will be able to make macaroni pictures of pills. Maybe.

    • Tom Ato

      If their charter school offers that. Public education is doomed.

      • William

        The school will send children home with a supplies list. Teacher gets first crack.

  • ColdCountry

    Good for them! Let’s hope PharmaDouche is not only convicted on all counts, but loses everything.

  • dcurlee

    Fuck that little douche.

    • Tom Ato

      No, thank you

  • Xiao Ai
  • thatotherjean

    Why isn’t that horse’s ass in jail yet?

    Oh–and good for the kids!

  • saucetin

    It’s official! PharmaC*nt’s face’s now equally irritating as D’umps.

  • rednekokie

    And you can bet the FDA won’t allow the Australian drug into the US, because they won’t get their usual price fixed kickback.

  • JCF
  • TomLoner

    Teens did it….and if your believe this you will literally believe anything….oh wait this is an intollerant, bigoted website so it stands to reason that the average reader on here would believe ANY form of propaganda. After all there are lots of hillary supporters on here.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    it’s called “capitalism”- selling at the highest price the market will bear. Collateral damage is “unfortunate” but not the responsibility of the seller