Last week saw Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals raise the price of Daraprim from $13.50 USD per pill to $750 a pill. This news went viral with the move being criticized roundly on social media from all corners. Then the company announced it was backpedaling, or so it seemed.
Turing Pharmaceuticals heard the protests, Martin Shkreli said, and the company has "agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a point that is more affordable," ABC News reported Tuesday evening.
Here in lies the problem. As has been common with similar social media uprisings, there's usually some response from the target of the outrage, but then no follow through.
ABC News reported after his apparent change of heart on Tuesday, Shkreli did not specify what the "more affordable" price of the drug would be, saying only that it would be less than $750 per pill and would "allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit."
Exactly. He didn't specify what "affordable" meant, and this basically got him off the hook. When the company announces the actual price in a few months they'll be able to do whatever they want because no one will follow up.
Ted Radio Hour, one of my favourite podcasts, did a segment Why Are Social Causes Easy To Launch But Hard To Win?. I think the price increase outrage is a prefect example that it's easy to get outraged but hard to follow through.