And he’s giving us even more reason to punch him!
Infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli announced his newest venture yesterday, and it’s about as awful as you’d expect. In a Substack post and on Twitter, he unveiled DrGupta.ai, a “virtual healthcare assistant” that (predictably) Shkreli believes will disrupt medicine—in spite of some very real and worrying legal and ethical gray areas.
“My central thesis is: Healthcare is more expensive than we’d like mostly because of the artificially constrained supply of healthcare professionals,” he wrote on Substack. “I envision a future where our children ask what physicians were like and why society ever needed them.”
“Dr. Gupta” is just Shkreli’s latest health venture since being released from prison last May. Last year, he founded Druglike, a drug discovery software platform being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is looking into whether Shkreli is violating a court-ordered lifetime ban on working in the pharmaceutical industry by running Druglike.
Madness. If you replace all the healthcare professionals who generate the data that is leeched off by a glorified chatbot with said chatbot, where is the information that they parrot going to come from? All you’re going to have left is a feedback loop that is disconnected from any reality checks, it’s going to get progressively worse, and we’re not going to get any new medical knowledge.
It’s quite rich that he’s blaming the high expenses of medical care on scarce skilled medical labor and knowledge, when he’s the guy who artificially elevated the cost of life-saving drugs. Blame the greedy pharmaceutical executives instead.
Hey, people like Shkreli are the ones who could be replaced by a mindless software program!
His central thesis is entirely bullshit. The reason why healthcare costs so goddamned much in the U.S. is we treat it as a commodity to be bought and sold rather than as a need or a human right. In short, the problem is capitalism.
Not at all surprising, of course, that a shithead like Shkreli wouldn’t be able to comprehend that.
bcw bcw says
here giving career advice https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7zazuy_UfI&t=620s
Does Shkreli have a medical license? Does his bot? In what way is this remotely legal then? Time to send him back to prison, for longer this time.
Akira MacKenzie says
Most punchable? He’s a close second on my list. My top slot is a tie between Nick Sandsmann and Little Benny Shapiro.
@1 mathman85, indeed. While physician numbers are actually controlled by our current medical training and certification system, that’s not due to some mythical price control system, but actually part of a set of changes implemented when we switched from apprenticeship based training to a modern evidence based medicine system.
That literally started with germ theory of disease and the embarrassingly large number of physicians in the US who rejected germ theory. Europe had accepted germ theory for over 20 years, while US physicians continued to reject germ theory and evidence based medicine. So, a slowly growing group of professionals worked with legislators to create our current system.
Gone was paying one’s professor directly, in favor of paying the medical school and removing conflict of interest. Germ theory was embraced, along with the rest of evidence based medicine. They even got the notion, as silly as it is, that drugs should be safe and effective, with evidence proving such.
Martin plays to tropes and myths, rather than reality and history, just to try to hawk Snake Oil v 2.0. Which is laughable, given the quality of answers from the current iteration of AI, one shudders to consider what such an AI would give in medicine – well, beyond death, disease and disability.
Still, I disagree with PZ. He doesn’t deserve a punch in the face. He deserves to be hanged, drawn and quartered in the traditional manner. Although, I’d suggest replacing the preservative pine pitch with a clear resin. That way there is no confusion as to whose head is on that pike.
Seems to me a lawsuit might be in the offing given that he’s obviously trying to exploit the name of neurosurgeon and medical journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who has been working for CNN forever. Using that Indian name seems pretty telling.
@4. Akira MacKenzie : Trump?
Musk? Murdoch? Tucker? Moscow Mitch? Zuckerberg?
Also moment that inspired so very many fun memes and youtube clips.
Say, that IS a punchable face.
“Hey, people like Shkreli are the ones who could be replaced by a mindless software program!”
Do you want Skynet, because this is how you get Skynet!
Guy (I’ve forgotten the character’s name): It’s time to talk about what kind of work you’re going to do here.
McCoy: What do you mean, work? I’m a doctor.
Guy: We have no need for doctors here.
McCoy: Yeah? You want to see how fast I can put you in the hospital?
This guy is a gtifter surfing on people’s ignorance of health care.
I will go off on a tangent about another group of grifters, who pretend to suck demons out of mentally sick people .
They are angry at a film that they think makes them look even worse.
Yes, it is GAM 401 The Pope’s Exorcist .
And now back to more ordinary grifters.
But by then he’ll have retired to his private bunker, which coincidentally will have a live-in hospital staff.
Gupta is a common name back in the old country but I still think he is sailing close to the wind of legality. Not too many famous Guptas in the US of A.
So he would be okay with getting a bypass from, say, someone who studied CompSci and had a few weeks of on the job training?
Go away or I’ll replace you with a very small shell script!
Slimy shysters are not known for being hard workers. While ChatGPT is great for helping experts write reports, with the experts being qualified to correct the errors in the report, people who rely on it without that expertise may be walking into trouble due to ChatGPT’s hallucinations. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9939079) I’d be less surprised to find a psychic weekly winning the weekly lotto jackpot, than to find Shkreli create something that conceptual which was functioning anywhere near what he claims.
I think the governor of Alabama just became even more punchable.
“Republican governor fires education director for not banning anti-racism training”
If they don’t want teachers to read the training book maybe they should fold it up inside a white sheet.
@ ^birgerjohansson : Too busy wearing that white sheet as a hood they are
Akira MacKenzie says
In an ideal world, but in reality neither Little Nicky and Benny have Secret Service details.
Bronze Dog says
I cracked my monitor. (Not really)
Raging Bee says
“I envision a future where our children ask what physicians were like and why society ever needed them.”
Translation: “I envision a future where no one needs or has to respect knowledge or educated people, and our spoiled children won’t ever need to learn anything hard.”
A classic in the genre of making one reasonable point, then immediately going off in some ridiculous direction. He’s not wrong that there’s an artificial filter on the number of doctors, it’s just that instead of identifying actual problems (e.g. the part where hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans for medical school act as a barrier, some weird internal medical cultural stuff around truly ridiculous work environments that act as a barrier and are also actively dangerous for patient safety) he seems to think the barrier is that doctors are the ones doing doctoring and that it’s not being offloaded entirely to computers.
Also his whole position as concerned for healthcare pricing is fucking ridiculous given his previous activity, but that goes without saying. The only way he could be less credible was if he came from the private health insurance industry instead.
@21 I envision a future with a lot fewer women and children, since childbirth without medical care has a high mortality rate for mother and child.
Especially if the only “medical” care comes from a variation of Chat GPS.
Who needs doctors? Women in childbirth and their babies.
I envision Shkreli’s dystopian future as one where our children ask why you never see old people any more and death is common for all ages.
The average lifespan before modern medicine in the USA at the start of the 20th century was 47 years. We’ve gained 30 years since then.
I’m not at all sure that the high cost of health care is mostly due to a shortage of health care workers, especially physicians.
A huge amount of routine and not so routine health care has been off loaded to PAs-Physician Assistants and NPs-Nurse Practioners.
This Dr Gupta?
raven @24, since COVID, we’ve lost 2 years of life expectancy in the US. Oddly, no other nations have that loss, only the “superior” US health care system.
WMDKitty -- Survivor says
silvrhalide @23 — Especially when those babies are ill or premature. It shouldn’t cost Mom and/or Dad an arm and a leg for Baby to stay in NICU.
Great American Satan says
i thought “tucker carlson already has a new gig?” anyway, one significant way i absolutely cannot fade this idea – most docs in US are just in it for the money or prestige and are actively harmful to any patient who is, oh, fat or black (especially women) or trans or chronically ill, etc. i could happily slap the fucking shit out of at least half the docs i’ve met, and know even chatGPT or the average drug dealer would be better than them.