December 2nd, 2016
Medicines are necessity for us. But with the hike in prices of medicines it has become difficult for people to afford them.
Almost a year ago in the United States, the price of 62-year-old AIDS medication Daraprim was increased by 5,000 percent from US$ 13.50 to US$ 750 by former Hedge Fund Manager Martin Shkreli. There was an outcry amongst people. Now, after a year-long experiment, a group of school students from Sydney, Australia have managed to recreate a life-saving ingredient of Daraprim for under US$ 20, providing a big relief to people.
Under the guidance of Dr Malcolm Binns, a professor at The University of Sydney, the students were able to synthesise 3.7 grammes of Pyrimethamine, the active ingredient of Daraprim. This drug is used by patients suffering from AIDS or Malaria.
This was a part of an experiment led by the University of Sydney’s Open Source Malaria Consortium. Daraprim, reproduced by the Sydney Grammar School students is used to treat a deadly parasitic infection called Toxoplasmosis, which can be deadly for people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women It is also used by malaria patients.
As per WHO, Daraprim is an essential medicine, as reported by 9news.
While the drug is expensive in the US, in Australia it can be purchased between $1 to $2 per pill.
“It seems totally unjustified and ethically wrong. It is a life-saving drug, and so many people can’t afford it.” said one James Wood, a student, as reported by BBC.