The price of Daraprim – a drug used to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis – has risen 5500%, from $13.50 per tablet to $750. It’s a huge controversy over in the pharmaceutical industry, and right at the centre of it is Martin “Cerebral” Shkreli, the owner Turing Pharmaceutical, producer of Daraprim, who is also the owner of League of Legends team Odyssey.
It’s a huge deal for the medical world, and an even bigger deal for patients who rely on the drug to aid in their treatment. But what does this have to do with games? Take a look at the official rules for Riot’s 2015 League of Legends season:
“10.2.10 Moral Turpitude. A Team Member may not engage in any activity which is deemed by the LCS to be immoral, disgraceful, or contrary to conventional standards of proper ethical behavior.”
The League of Legends community have questioned if Riot should step in and investigate if Shkreli should be allowed continued control over his team.
Shkreli’s team has seen some success this year after merging with Team Imagine. Imagine reached the semi-finals of the NACS Summer Playoffs.
In regards to the drug controversy itself, Shkreli spoke to Bloomberg to explain the price increase, which he explained was needed to increase business profits and allow the company to explore new treatments for toxoplasmosis.
“We’re spending tens of millions of dollars on making a better version of Daraprim that is more effective and less toxic,” said Shkreli. “These patients deserve a drug company that is turning a fair profit and is developing a drug that is better for them. They don’t deserve a drug that’s 70 years old – they deserve a modern medicine that can cure toxoplasmosis quickly.
“Drug development is very expensive, it can cost a billion dollars. It’s only fair that we make a profit and we take that money, and we put [the results] back into the patient’s hands. I don’t advocate for companies that raise prices and don’t do any research – and by the way, there are dozens of those.”
How do you feel about the situation? Should Riot step in and investigate Shkreli’s actions? Or should anything separate from League of Legends not be of concern to the eSport?