BUSINESS

Martin Shkreli's Reddit AMA Sees Him Admit He Was A 'Jackass'

10/26/2015 04:57 EDT | Updated 10/26/2015 05:59 EDT

If Martin Shkreli could go back and do things differently, he wouldn't have been such a "flippant jackass" after he raised the price of a drug by more than 5,400 per cent.

The CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals held a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) session on Sunday.

He discussed the fallout from his decision to raise the price of Daraprim, a drug used in the treatment of toxoplasmosis, a disease that can affect AIDS patients and pregnant women, from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

At times, he said wished he gone about the PR another way. But he appeared to have no regrets as to how he responded when he was confronted with a wave of criticism following the price increase.

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Martin Shkreli during his AMA session.

Reddit user joeevans1000 asked him the following question: "If you could go back in time to the day before you announced the price increase, what would you do differently going forward, if anything?"

To which Shkreli replied, "Explain it more carefully instead of being a flippant jackass."

But he didn't seem to mind having been a "flippant jackass" when it came to people's "negative reactions."

martin shkreli ama

Shkreli defended himself vociferously as Daraprim's price increase stirred negative reaction in the press. Here was one of his tweets when the story first emerged:

Shkreli also responded to reports that Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based company, was planning to sell a Daraprim alternative for $1 per pill.

The drug will combine pyrimethamine, a Daraprim ingredient, with leucovorin, a folic acid that counteracts the latter's side effects, Forbes reported.

Asked about the possible competitor, he said, "That's not really a substitute." When another user asked, "How does it feel to be ripped off for $1," he said, "Might want to do more research."

One of the most popular comments came from a user named Anandya, a doctor who works at a hospital in India.

He challenged Shkreli's justification for raising the drug's price, that he wants to make a more potent one, with a lengthy, scientific response that was widely praised by fellow users.

Shkreli also didn't back down from some of his harshest critics on the threat.

"Was this awful AMA part of your poor PR response or did you create this trainwreck all by yourself?"

His response: "This is 99 per cent statement and one per cent question. I think that violates the terms of service."

Another:

martin shkreli ama

And to that he said, "I'm sorry you feel that way."

Shkreli has pledged to lower the price of Daraprim following the backlash. But it's not yet clear by how much.

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