Yesterday, Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG made quite a name for himself when it came out that he and his company had price-gouged a lifesaving medication that Turing had acquired the rights to less than a month ago.
Apparently Shkreli cannot grasp why he is being criticized for his decision, but he better get used to it because we're ankle-deep in an election cycle, kids.
For instance, there's this:
A day after a tweet about high drug costs from Hillary Clinton sent pharmaceutical and biotechnology stocks plummeting, the Democratic presidential candidate said that if elected, she’d implement programs to force the industry to concede tens of billions of dollars a year in tax breaks, lower prices and increase research spending.
Coincidence? Look at the aforementioned tweet:
And there's also this:
The R&D proposal seems to directly target companies like Valeant Pharmaceuticals Internationals Inc., which has grown to a $78 billion market valuation through a series of deals rather than developing products internally. Last year, it spent $246 million on R&D, far less than companies of similar size, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Valeant shares fell as much as 8.8 percent after Clinton’s tweet on Monday.
Now, no one really expects Hillary's plan to come to fruition in its proposed form. The legislative process and the powerful pharma lobby will more than likely cut it to shreds in not time at all, but guys like Shkreli are giving 2016's candidates an ideal foil for public criticism of the specialty drug industry.
And better yet, Shkreli has a recent past-life spent as a hedge fund manager. You might remember hedge funds as the other industry being publicly pilloried by candidates across the Trump to Sanders political diaspora.
So basically, Hillary and her competitors can now sink their teeth into a morally bankrupt hedge fund millionaire who has been publicly shamed for seeking alpha in the market of human survival costs.
Congratulations, Martin Shkreli. You ARE the villain of the zeitgeist.