r/news Jan 14 '22

Shkreli ordered to return $64M, is barred from drug industry


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u/De3NA Jan 14 '22

His plan was pretty genius. Raising the cost of some medicine so that he could charge the insurance company an insane amount and also offer cheap medicine if you contact him directly. If someone were to do both it’s a win win lose for the insurance company.


u/ajb32 Jan 14 '22

Yeah. Except the insurers just pass the cost on to the people they insure. It's not like they're taking a loss. So yeah it's lucrative for him but he's just taking money from people playing insurance premiums.

The system in the US is beyond fucked. The fact we have a health insurance industry seems like a symptom of a problem to me. Insurers serve the shareholder first and the insured second.


u/rephyus Jan 14 '22

Except that its the standard for the ENTIRE industry. Look up any life saving drug, be in awe at the cost and then look up if they have a subsidy program. They always do.

Its much easier to paint a target on an individual versus a faceless corporation. Big pharma shifted all the spotlight on Shkreli because he was an individual. Doesn't help that he also has a punchable face. Another example would be the Elizabeth Holmes from Theranos. Not only was she found as a fraud, she actively kept trying to get into the spotlight. The media gets its tributes, and Big pharma gets to run away with the profits and the general public lose.


u/Helenium_autumnale Jan 15 '22

So everyone can get the subsidy?

These prices are not the industry standard. Drugs are far cheaper in Europe and Canada. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/upshot/to-reduce-the-cost-of-drugs-look-to-europe.html


u/bubumamajuju Jan 15 '22

Europe and Canada ultimately get cheaper pricing because Americans are subsidizing them. There’s cost advantages to different systems of different countries compared to the US but it’s fundamentally as simple as: they can get pharmaceuticals for less if Americans pay more.

You have to apply for the subsidy. There’s generally income thresholds but the companies will work with your situation. And there’s lot of people who ultimately get life saving drugs completely free (even Shkreli’s company was offering patients financial assistance).