The Incurable Disease of Corporate Social Irresponsibility

Reporters of the Martin Shkreli story didn’t always manage to convey a complete understanding of the drug and the condition it is used to treat. But the medical context is highly relevant. Early in my medical training, I took care of dozens of Toxoplasmosis patients during the height of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. “Toxo” was a common diagnosis back then because we didn’t have the effective cocktail for Anti Retroviral Therapy that we have now. “Toxo” is a devastating disease which can cause blindness, brain infections (encephalitis), widespread infection, and death. In the era before ART, the yearly incidence of Toxoplasmosis in exposed patients with advanced immunosuppression who had not received prophylactic treatment was as high as one out of three.

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