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I always really liked Martin Shkreli. He kind of reminds me of myself (maybe that says more about me than Martin Shkreli). Maybe he ran a fraud, but he did good by his investors, they got huge return off of his "scam." Of people who are in jail for scams, almost all of them stole/lost money from their investors, instead of actually making a shit-load of money for them.

People don't like him not because of his "scam", but because he raised drug prices. Maybe people on HN and elsewhere think big pharma should be run as a charity, but in my book, making as much money as you can is a good thing, a noble and morally righteous thing in fact.

Companies should try and make as much money as humanly possible (without breaking the law), because this is the only framework in which competition can exist. Everyone, everywhere, should be as greedy as possible and try as make a big of return on their investments as possible. This is the origin of "competition."

If individuals and companies weren't doing that, our market wouldn't function and it wouldn't delivery nearly as value as it does to society.

I happily look forward to the downvotes.




> Maybe he ran a fraud

> making as much money as you can is a good thing, a noble and morally righteous thing in fact.

I don't see how you can claim that what he did was morally righteous, but also possibly fraudulent.

> Companies should try and make as much money as humanly possible (without breaking the law)

The parenthetical here is hilarious, because it immediately contradicts your argument. Companies should try to make as much money as possible, until we decide that what they do should be illegal, in which case companies should not try to make as much money as possible. Isn't this always the case? Assuming we have a perfect system, companies should try to make as much money as possible within that system. Shkreli went to jail because he broke the law, therefore according to your own argument you shouldn't be admiring him.


> I don't see how you can claim that what he did was morally righteous, but also possibly fraudulent.

Shrikeli did two things; (1) legally raise the prices of some drugs and (2) defraud his investors.

mruts is admiring (1) while condemning (2).


When Shkreli got vilified, he missed out on one of the biggest opportunities to push for meaningful change. Media and Congress were "not kind" to his price increases. Well, who passed the laws that allowed for those price increases and stifled competition? At the time, I was hoping Shkreli would double down, go all in, and blame Congress for passing the laws that were allowing for such price increases and preventing competition (which big pharma had lobbied for and gotten passed earlier). Demand that if Congress was serious about getting him to reduce prices, all they had to do was repeal those laws. I.e., pass the buck back and say "well if you don't like this behavior, then why did you pass these laws?" and "oh, by the way, how many campaign contributions and PAC donations did you get for passing these laws?" He could then pivot to say "hey, I'm not raising prices to make money [at least not anymore], I'm raising prices to increase awareness and bring accountability to Congress and hold their feet to the fire."


> blame Congress for passing the laws that were allowing for such price increases and preventing competition

That would be weird, since Daraprim (the drug he hiked) was out of patent, anyone could make and sell it, and in fact a competitor did jut a couple of months later[1]. How was Congress preventing competition?

[1] https://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/30/express-scripts-imprimis-to-...


Patents weren't the issue. As I recall, Shkreli's company had the exclusive right to market the drug in the US, regardless of patent protection. For example, the FDA provides regulatory exclusivity that prevents generics from entering the market even after the patent expires. [1]

Patents were a collateral issue. On that collateral issue, one of the issues with patents is that drug companies have a tendency to stop producing drugs towards the end of life of a patent to force patients onto a newly patented drug. This practice could be stopped by allowing generics to produce, market, and sell when the patent holder will not.

[1] https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/journal-articl...


Fair enough, there are other protections besides patents. Still, that doesn't seem to be the case here at all; like I wrote, competitors were selling alternatives within a couple of months.

What seems to me is that the market was crowded out while the primary producer kept the prices low; when they were raised, the market responded.


He would he a moron to say anything about pricing after his fraud case kicked off. All it would do is dig him into a deeper hole.

The prosecutor picked the fight because they knew he was viewed as such an asshole that there was no way anyone would think any differently of him. It's the reason he's in jail for seven years despite making profits for those he defrauded (remember that sentencing in these cases is often dependent on damages) and Elizabeth Holmes isn't.

Good PR juju goes a long way: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mariappan-jawaharlal/tale-...


>I happily look forward to the downvotes.

Painting yourself as the underdog before receiving any feedback undermines your communication. Even worse, the "your inevitable and surely unreasonable disagreement makes me happy" style of sign-off is just putting forth the image of being an asshole for basically no reason other than emotional self-defense.


You have no idea what it’s like to be powerless and have people like you dictating terms and ruining lives and there being nothing you can do about. You have no idea what that feels like.


On the other hand: the company was charging $13/pill for a long time. Shkreli hikes it immensely, and only two months later a competitor starts selling it for $1/pill: https://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/30/express-scripts-imprimis-to-...

Arguably, Shkreli's actions incentivized competition (like the parent poster talked about), and at the cost of only two months of unaffordable prices, patients were left much better off.

Personally I still find his action abhorrent, but the facts do have some weight.


If the results of competition and everyone trying to make the maximum amount of money are that people die young and impoverished while a small number of people become obscenely wealthy- I can think of no better definition of pure, revolting evil, and those responsible will certainly face justice at the hands of the state, or, if they capture the state, justice later at the hands of angry mobs.


By the way what school of ethics is that from, the stance that you should enrich yourself at the cost of death and misery to everyone around you?


I very much wonder if you will feel this way when the day comes (and it will) when your wealth fails you. Will you maintain you belief in free markets when you, or someone you loves, is ill and can't be helped for the lack of money?

You incitement of downvotes is clear enough indicator of your bad faith.


> (without breaking the law)

This part seems a little more relevant to this story than a parenthetical aside.


> I happily look forward to the downvotes

Not from me: your opinion stands out from the general HN hypocrisy, on top of being very consistent.


[flagged]


You can't post like this, no matter how wrong another comment is. This is a bannable offense, but your comment is so over the top that I'm going to assume you went on tilt (it happens to all of us) and not ban you this time. Please don't do it again though.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


I apologize and will take a break from posting for a little while.


> can’t afford antibiotics

Well, Shkreli's company was providing the drug in question for free to those who could not afford it, so your rage seems a bit unsubstantiated.


You're breaking the rules here as well as being incredibly rude.


Yes i am, and I’d do it again. He should know that acting in the manner he suggests is no game, and the people are watching. I want him to feel that anger and know that what he’s doing is not ok.


What is he doing? I'm pretty sure mruts doesn't own a pharmaceutical company.


By the way something can be hideously immoral without being illegal. The holocaust was legal.




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