You remember this guy, right? He's back for more--and the truth is, he seems to enjoy it.
Last month, Martin Shkreli, the "bro"-ish CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, managed to become "the most hated man in America." His company acquired the patent to a drug used to treat malaria, cancer, and AIDS, and increased its price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet--5,455 percent. Adding insult to injury, Shkreli gave a long series of TV interviews and fired off tweets in which he seemed to suggest others were too stupid to understand how pharmaceutical research works, and almost reveled in the controversy.
Since then, he's been roundly criticized by--well, by virtually everyone. Seriously, Hillary Clinton called his "price gouging...outrageous," and Donald Trump said he "looks like a spoiled brat." This may be the only thing Clinton and Trump will ever agree on.
(Aw heck, here's another Trump quote: "That guy is nothing. He's zero. He's nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself.")
Shkreli had made his Twitter account private during the immediate aftermath in September, but he's since come back and has feuded with both Bernie Sanders and--I can't believe I'm writing this--1980s wrestling star The Iron Sheik. He's hired a crisis PR firm, and run into another pharmaceutical company that has decided to market a competing drug to Turing's pyrimethamine (known on the market as Daraprim) for $1 per dose.
(When a media outlet asked him for comment, he replied simply, "lol.")
Then, this past weekend, Shkreli did a Reddit Ask Me Anything event. I read the whole thing so you don't have to. Here are the highlights of what he had to say.
On how he thinks he and his PR team handled the whole issue last month:
On what he'd do if he could go back in time and change anything:
"Explain it more carefully instead of being a flippant jackass."
On whether he used "sock puppets" to flood the AMA itself with supportive commenters (one Reddit member identified 26 accounts he thought were suspect):
"Is it possible that they were not reddit users and had an interest in participating in the discussion? i recognize some of these users from other websites (twitter, offtopic)"
On the biggest problem with the pharmaceutical industry in general:
"wow, great question. probably the decrease of R&D and preclinical research. we're at a pivotal point where we've had the best tools we've ever had and we need to leverage that."
On pharmaceutical advertising:
"it shouldn't happen. most drugs should sell themselves. drugs for rare and serious illnesses are what i focus on and you don't have to advertise those."