They wanted to show the absurdity of US drug pricing that gouges people of their money simply for mega profits.
Remember when that pharma bro Shkreli raised the HIV drug in the US from about $13 to $750? Well as the exact same drug is available in Australia for $13AU for 50 tablets, the school students decided to make a point about how crazy and unfair US drug pricing was by making the drug themselves. For just $20AU, they made an amount that could be sold in the US for as much as $110,000 by their pricing.
Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli won near-universal scorn in 2015 when he hiked the price of anti malaria and HIV medication Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 overnight. But now, he may have been bested by a few Australian high school students.And this from the Guardian:
A group of Year 11 students at Sydney Grammar School has managed to recreate Daraprim's key ingredient in their school lab, producing 3.7 grams of the compound Pyrimethamine. And they did it for AU$20.
Speaking to Australia's ABC news, Sydney Grammar student Milan Leonard said he and his classmates worked on the project to highlight the "ridiculous" price of the drug, which costs AU$13 for a bottle of 50 tablets in Australia. CNet
The students realised they had succeeded two weeks ago when their teacher, Dr Malcolm Binns, brought Todd and Williamson a sample.No wonder why Australian's don't want a US style health care system :s
“Alice did the analysis and looked at the screen and said ‘Oh my god, they’ve done it’,” he said.
“And not only have they done it, it’s super pure. It’s A-grade. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That was the moment. I realised they had nailed it. The students were over the moon.”
He said unfortunately the students would not be able to sell their drug to the US market. While the drug can be bought in Australia for about A$13 for a packet of 50, there are a number of complicated legal roadblocks in the way of producing and selling it in the US.
“Turing has the exclusive rights to sell it, even though the drug is no longer under patent,” Todd said. “The ridiculousness of this legal loophole means if we wanted to launch it as drug in the US we’d have to go through a whole new clinical trial because we would have to compare the Sydney Grammar stuff with the officially sanctioned stuff, and Turing would have to give us the drug to allow those comparisons to be made.
“It’s not just a matter of going to the store and buying the Turing drug either, they would have to hand it over directly.” The Guardian