When Turig Pharmaceuticals CEO and oxymoronic Brand New fan Martin Shkreli exploded onto the news scene earlier this week after buying the rights to Daraprim and raising the price by a relatively noticeable 5,500 percent, the general public's opinion on Shkreli went from "Wait, who?" to "Screw this guy!" with a blistering pace:
Though he promptly attempted to justify his costs in an immediately maligned interview with Bloomberg, he has now agreed to lower his ballooned prices so that he only makes a small profit. "It is absolutely a reaction [to the criticism]," Shkreli tells NBC News. "There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action, I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people. I think in the society we live in today it's easy to want to villainize people, and obviously we're in an election cycle where this is very, very tough topic for people and it's very sensitive. And I understand the outrage." Though he revealed he would lower the price, the new price was not made immediately available.
While many took note of his Brand New t-shirt with equal parts mature skepticism and jovial laughter, Shkreli is actually not only a longtime fan of rock music of that particular variety, he's also a silent investor. Shkreli reportedly contributed money aimed at helping Geoff Rickly's Collect Records imprint get off the ground, though Rickly himself tells Noisey he's just as appalled by the pill profits as everyone else:
My head is still spinning, and though I want to believe that there is some reason that he would do this that is some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking.
I can’t see my future at all in the label. I have to see what the bands want first, and see if there is any meaning or any mission following all of this. More than anything, I want the bands to see that I hold art as the guiding force in my life.
Daraprim is used as a treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that potentially causes life-threatening complications in infants and other people with compromised immune systems, including AIDS and cancer patients. Proving that no Brand New fan takes the abomination of their name lightly, there is now a petition calling for Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey to publicly call Martin Shkreli a poser, so sign that if that's what you're into: