Shkreli Braves the Storm

February 3, 2016

As Mr Shkreli goes to Washington, Casey McDonald considers what the silver screen treatment of this chapter in the pharma bro saga might be like.

Bloomberg stole my headline referencing the 1939 Jimmy Stewart classic. As it appears, Shkreli will slog through the remnants of the east coast’s blizzard to appear before Congress to invoke his Fifth Amendment right. He’ll rightly return to New York State, as not to disobey the terms of his bond. (Update-The hearing was pushed to Feb 4th to give Washington a chance to dig out of the storm.)

I suppose maybe it’s a cliché to invoke the idealistic Mr Smith and an extensive monologue is too much to ask. But a John Galt-like speech sure would be something, wouldn’t it?

Sadly, the former CEO is not the representative a patient-centered industry wants nor needs. Equally disturbing, as one who decries the capitalist system that he’s forced to inhabit and manipulate, he’s also not a hero of free market ideals.

But still, I can’t help myself envisioning a classic set up for the silver screen:

ACT III

Scene: A snow-covered (hopefully still) Capitol, pan from Jefferson to Lincoln to Washington monuments against a blue sky. The Potomac is partially frozen over. Fade into a packed congressional hearing room, old-timey flash bulbs, reporters in hats and notepads….

A young, charismatic man (perhaps played by Channing Tatum or Zac Efron?) after being berated by old, evil, corrupt politicians rises to his feet to give a historic monologue….

Help us write the next chapter. We doubt Mr Shkreli will give us much good material. Tell us what you think he should say to Congress...