We Should Be Thanking Price-Gouging Drug CEO
Vox writer explains why Martin Shkreli is an 'American hero'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2015 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – If Martin Shkreli is not the most vilified man in American right now, he's in the conversation. (Consider this headline at the Daily Beast: "Martin Shkreli Lowers Drug Price, Is Still an A--hole.") But at Vox, Dan Diamond makes the case that we should all be grateful to Shkreli for his pharmaceutical price-gouging. (The phrase "American hero" is used.) In trying to raise the price of the drug that treats the potentially deadly parasitic infection toxoplasmosis by 5,000%, the "perfectly vile" Shkreli has begun a national conversation about a big problem. "Pharmaceutical companies have been buying up generic drugs, jacking up their prices, and messing up patients' lives for years," writes Diamond. "Many, many chronically ill Americans have been forced to suddenly spend their savings on medical treatment because of overnight price hikes."

He draws a parallel to five years ago when the proposed Affordable Care Act seemed destined to fail—until California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross jacked rates by nearly 40%, leading to outrage that helped bring ObamaCare into being. The same may not happen here, but it's worth noting that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have made drug prices a campaign issue in the wake of the Shkreli headlines. "America's scrutiny of the generic drug industry is just beginning, all thanks to one foolish drug company CEO," writes Diamond. "And for that, Martin Shkreli, we salute you." Click to read his full post.