Students Make Martin Shkreli's Drug for $2 a Pill

From the WebMD Archives

Dec. 1, 2016 -- A team of Australian high school students recreated the drug Daraprim for just $2 a pill in order to prove how cheap it is to make.

Last fall, U.S. biotech executive Martin Shkreli sparked outrage when he boosted the price of the drug by more than 4,000 percent, to $750 a pill. The drug is used to treat toxoplasmosis, which can be a life-threatening for pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV or AIDS, the Washington Post reported.

In Australia, 50 tablets of the drug can be bought for $13.

The 11th grade students spent about $15 on the ingredients required to produce 3.7 grams of Daraprim, about $100,000 worth of the drug in the U.S. market, according to Alice Williamson, a postdoctoral teaching fellow at the University of Sydney. She teamed up with the high school students and their science teachers.

There are no plans to sell the drug. Williams said the objective of the project was to send a message to drug companies -- particularly those in the U.S. -- that high drug prices are not always justified, the Post reported.