Ladies and gentlemen there is some great news coming from the land down under. No koalas aren’t migrating their way over to America, but Australian school boys did manage to create the pill Daraprim for about $20!
Daraprim is an anti-parasitic medicine used to treat infections such as toxoplasmosis and malaria. It is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. It helps anyone with low immune systems like HIV patients, chemotherapy patients, and pregnant women.
Before I lose you with all that science talk let me just summarize:
THIS IS A BIG DEAL.
Last September hedge-fund manager Martin Shkreli aka “Big Pharama Bro” (also known as most punchable face of the last decade) gained control of Turing Pharmaceuticals and attracted worldwide recognition by increasing the price of the drug more than 5000 per cent. He, with a giant smile on his face, hiked the price from $13.50 to $750 a pill.
With all of the money he was earning from his dying patients, he went on to spend $2 million on the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album.
This earned him douchebag of the year praises from everyone around the world. His little empathy felt for anyone who has to buy the drug is enough for anyone to want to give this guy a swirly and then hang him by his underwear in a locker. Nerd.
But when in doubt, the Aussies are there to help out. University of Sydney chemist Dr. Alice Williams thought it was an ideal drug to synthesize in a school lab for chemistry students at Sydney Grammar School.
To make the drug the boys, aged 17, worked through a number of steps with their chemistry teacher, Dr Malcolm Binns. Dr Williamson, Dr Binns and the boys had to find an innovative pathway from the starting compound to the end result. They synthesized the end-product last week and tested its purity in a spectrograph at university.
And then jackpot the generic version of Daraprim was made. There is still a while before this drug can be sold on the market, but this is a win for all of humanity, and a step in the right direction to making this “pharma bro” irrelevant again.
Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in Upstate, New York.
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