Martin Shkreli Wants Out Of Prison To Save Us All From The Coronavirus
Marti Shkreli is not a scientist. He is a convicted felon with a bachelor's degree in business administration who owned a pharmaceutical company that didn't really do anything other than buy up licenses to drugs with out-of-date patents and then jack up the prices of said drugs. Most notably, he jacked the price of Daraprim, an HIV/AIDS drug, up from $13.50 to $750. That's not why he's in prison, of course, because that's not illegal, but it is how he became known to us all as one of the biggest assholes on planet Earth.
Shkreli was sent to prison in 2018 for screwing over the kind of people who matter a lot more in the United States than the HIV/AIDS patients who take Daraprim — investors. He was found guilty of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and sentenced to seven years.
He is now asking to be let out of prison on "furlough." Why? Because he would like to save us all from COVID-19, Which is weird because, again, he is not a scientist. He'd like to use that time to do research on potential treatments, a thing he is in no way qualified to do. Shkreli explained his reasoning in a "scentific paper" he wrote with the help of his business partners and some "citizen scientists." (i.e.: Not Scientists. Not even sort of scientists. Just regular people who are into science.)
I am asking for a brief furlough (3 months) to assist in research work on COVID-19. Being released to the post-COVID world is no solace to even the incarcerated. As a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates, filed numerous INDs and clinical trial applications, I am one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development from molecule creation and hypothesis generation, to preclinical assessments and clinical trial design/target engagement demonstration, and manufacturing/synthesis and global logistics and deployment of medicines.
Granted, I cannot be sure, but I feel fairly confident that Martin Shkreli "invented multiple new drug candidates" like I won Miss America. You can't just go around "inventing" drugs with a bachelor's degree in business administration. What? Was he sitting around his basement with his Fisher-Price chemistry set crushing up Excedrin and lorazepam to invent a drug that gets rid of your headache while it calms you down?
While Shkreli himself seems very impressed with himself and must assume that he is better than all of the actual scientists in the whole entire world, actual scientists disagree.
Shkreli's work is "not crazy, but neither is it particularly groundbreaking, either, at least to my eyes," said Derek Lowe, a medicinal chemist employed by a pharmaceutical company and a well-known drug industry blogger. Over the past few months, scientists around the world have embarked on similar efforts to identify medicines that might treat Covid-19, posting their work to preprint servers and debating the merits of various approaches. Shkreli's contribution offers little in the way of novelty, Lowe said.
As much as we all want a cure, it seems a bit unnecessary to let this douchenozzle out of prison to "do research" on one, given that there are so many scientists out there who are far more qualified than he is. But I guess when you're a narcissistic sociopath, that's not the kind of thing that occurs to you.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse