He's been described as the most hated man in America. He's been kicked out of BIO, condemned by every biotech executive who's been queried by the media, lampooned on Saturday Night Live and subjected to the taunts of an online mob.
But Martin Shkreli, the CEO of newborn Turing Pharmaceuticals, is still confident that he can turn it all around in his favor. Reuters reported that Shkreli is mapping a comeback plan.
"Yes, we have a plan. Very expensive, well articulated," Shkreli said in an interview with Activist Shorts Research founder Adam Kommel, according to the news service. "Every media advisor is on our payroll," he added.
Shkreli, of course, is now the poster child for a drug pricing controversy that has become a central issue in the presidential campaign after buying the 62-year-old toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim and raising the price overnight by more than 5000%.
He had hoped to tamp down the storm by going on national television and promising to lower the price. That was two weeks ago, though, and as Business Insider notes, the price of Daraprim is still $750 a pill, and there's no promise from Shkreli about just when that price will be cut, let alone what the final number will be.
At this stage, his reputation is beyond damaged. It's become toxic, and evidently that's at least somewhat communicable.
Allan Ripp, a New York PR man who took on Shkreli as a client after the in-house media contact abruptly left the company, knows that even acknowledging a tie with Shkreli is enough to spur a virtual hate fest.
Ripp tells NYC Today: "If you could see the emails and phone calls I got, being associated with Turing--they're vicious, hateful, in bucketfuls. 'You scumbag, pig.' You can't help but have an existential crisis and ask, 'Am I doing the right thing?'"
Ripp is now selling Shkreli's defense case: The 32-year-old former hedge fund dude--who initially took to Twitter to mock anyone, including me, who questioned the move--is actually committed to spending big money to develop life saving drugs. There's no sign, though, that anyone is buying it. -- John Carroll, editor-in-chief (email | Twitter)