Either I am being dense, or the BBC is:
The man who sparked outrage last year by hiking the price of a life-saving drug may have met his match in some Australian schoolboys.
US executive Martin Shkreli became a symbol of greed when he raised the price of a tablet of Daraprim from $13.50 (£11) to $750.
Now, Sydney school students have recreated the drug’s key ingredient for just $20.
The Sydney Grammar boys, all 17, synthesised the active ingredient, pyrimethamine, in their school science laboratory.
“It wasn’t terribly hard but that’s really the point, I think, because we’re high school students,” one boy, Charles Jameson, told the BBC.
The students produced 3.7 grams of pyrimethamine for $20. In the US, the same quantity would cost up to $110,000.
The issue was never how expensive it is to make the drug, it was who held the license to make it and sell it in the US.
Mr Shkreli, also known as “Pharma Bro”, was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals when it acquired exclusive rights to Daraprim.
Clearly some people don’t realise this:
Dr Alice Williamson, a University of Sydney research chemist, supported the boys’ project through online platform Open Source Malaria.
“They’ve transformed starter material that’s worth pennies into something that has a real monetary value in the States,” she told the BBC.
No, their product has no monetary value in the States. Let them try to sell it over there and see what happens.
“If you can obtain it cheaply in schools, then there’s no excuse for charging that much money for a drug. Especially from people that really need it and probably can’t afford to pay for it.”
Dr Williamson called the pricing in the US “ludicrous”.
We have a chemist working in research at a university who thinks the price of drugs is driven by the cost of the ingredients, and shit turned out in a school lab is the same as that certified for distribution in the US by the FDA.
Next up from the BBC: Chinese students make a Louis Vuitton bag for $10, undercutting the flagship store on the Champs-Élysées by $490. Praise all ’round.