Shkreli’s HIV pill was replicated for $20 by a handful of students

Shkreli’s HIV pill was replicated for $20 by a handful of students

An HIV pill is the Holy Grail of modern medicine

The HIV pill has always been the eternal desiderata of medicine and it has been that much more researched the more the AIDS cases worsened throughout the world. AIDS affects hundreds of thousands of people across the globe and it does not get prettier as time passes. The need for a solution is as crucial as ever.

Interestingly enough, not all people know that an actual HIV pill was sort of discovered in 2012. “Sort of” because it did not actually wipe the disease, but dramatically diminished its influence and biological detection.

The test subject was a newborn baby and the experimental drug was powerful enough to almost eradicate the disease altogether. Almost. Signs of the virus were still traceable in his system, though, only at significantly lower levels, lowered enough to not endanger his physical composure anymore.

Sure, further tests are needed in order to declare its full efficiency, but the first step has been made. Now, a second one is on the roll, with Daraprim, Shkreli’s acquisition, which he brought to new financial heights after purchasing the rights to sell it.

Students managed to replicate Shkreli’s pill in laboratory conditions for a fraction of the cost

Martin Shkreli has become an infamous figure since 2015 when he purchased the right to sell Daraprim, known as both an HIV pill and an anti-malaria drug. Then, at a moment’s notice, the price skyrocketed from $13.50 to $750. It was definitely a shock because no one saw it coming and his reputation has been tarnished ever since.

Now, more interesting news pile up to present a whole different picture. The main ingredient in Daraprim called Pyrimethamine, has been replicated by a dozen students from the Sydney Grammar School, for merely a fraction of the cost.

More precisely, $15 was the entire cost of the project, thus lowering the price for a 50 tablet bottle to nearly $10. Their initiative was meant to show that the price established by the Turing Pharmaceuticals is unrealistic, especially since it is 5000% higher.

According to the students themselves, the achievement seemed unreal even to them. They certainly did not expect to achieve such great results and the HIV pill that they have replicated can now be sold at a fraction of the cost provided by Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

As a reaction to the students’ breakthrough, Shkreli issued a video transmitting a congratulation message, saying that he is pleased to see a rise in interest among students, regarding STEM field and innovations in science in technology. Regarding the HIV pill issue, he also stated that he does not feel like his business is compromised.

According to his own words, the HIV pill recipe he owns is more versatile and stable and purer and that his HIV pill secret is safe in his hands. The students have not issued a statement of their own yet.