Martin Shkreli, head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, became the poster child for heartless, greedy capitalism when he multiplied the price of Daraprim, a cancer and AIDS drug, by over 50. The sleazy, smug-looking 32-year-old hedge fund manager was the perfect illustration for why a profit-driven society is detrimental to human wellbeing. Here we had desperately sick people forced to grovel and empty their life savings in order to survive. Clearly, this indicates why we need more government regulation in the pharmaceutical industry.
Curveball: Imprimis Pharmaceuticals released a competing drug for only $1 per pill, contrasting with Shkreli’s $750. Maybe condemnations of unchecked capitalism were a little premature.
And did the condemnations ever come. Ever the political opportunist, Hillary Clinton jumped on the Shkreli-hating bandwagon, calling for a government probe into the price hike. Turing Pharmaceuticals is currently under an antitrust investigation because of the incident. And after all that, a simple dose of capitalist competition ends the issue.
The price hike over a life-saving drug was used to declare the failures of a supposedly free-market system. Now that free-market competition provided a solution, what will happen to the legions of socialists who were quick to dogpile capitalism? Will they admit they were wrong in this case? Will they, at a bare minimum, concede that a free and competitive system does actually weed out some of the problems that affect society? Likely not. That would involve testing, and retesting, of philosophical hypotheses in the marketplace of ideas. And that doesn’t exactly sound like socialism.
The world isn’t perfect. Greed, exploitation, theft, and disease are real things. However, jumping to government regulation to solve problems only puts up barriers to their solution. A truly free market allows for the best cures to be found, as evidenced by Martin Shkreli’s competition taking his price hike head on. That’s how problems are solved: through market competition. Will any socialists admit they were wrong?
Return to Top