We’re big fans of the offbeat here at STAT. So what better way to round out the last days of 2017 than to bring you the year in review — in rhyme? Without further ado, we present our annual life science limericks, covering topics ranging from the commander-in-chief’s warnings on drug pricing to a controversial experiment to edit human embryos to a most unusual patent dance over at Allergan. (And if you can’t get enough limericks,  click here to see last year’s offerings.) 

On Trump

Our mercurial commander-in-chief
Will frequently give pharma grief
They’re “getting away!
With murder,” he’ll say
(But hands ‘em financial relief)

On gene therapy

One shot to cure blindness or bleeds:
Gene drugs sure could meet unmet needs.
But what kind of civilian
Can cough up $1 million?
Insurers must wade through those weeds.


On Martin Shkreli

Who insults his way straight to jail?
Why, Shkreli! Whose last coffin nail
Was putting on pillory
Prez-runner-up Hillary
Incensed, the judge bailed on his bail


A powerful T-cell enhancer:
Our newest weapon for cancer
CAR-T’s secured much approval
For blood tumor removal
But solids? We still have no answer

On Scott Gottlieb

Scott Gottlieb’s been busy despising
Rogue stem cells, and current drug pricing
Next: Unspooling gold rules
On small molecules?
Deregulation is oh so enticing.

On patent protection

Allergan committed a patent taboo
When it snubbed inter partes review.
Mohawks got much IP
Thanks, tribal sovereignty!
Say generics: “Let the suing ensue.”


Rejiggering the genetics of genes
Is becoming a hot new DIY scene
But is embryo editing viable?
Was that report really reliable?
After more research, the debate’ll reconvene

On Tom Price

He once led health for the nation
But used taxpayer funds for…vacation?
He paid a big Price
For this roll of the dice
And Tom’s off in search of a new station

On Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

A swan song for our friend Soon-Shiong:
Nant’s travails lasted all year long
His philanthropy came under fire
He even earned Cher’s ire
But with vows to “cure cancer,” he hurtles along

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  • Our mercurial commander-in-chief Big Gun
    May be mercurial in more ways than one!
    Has he had a heavy metals challenge test
    In his Presidential physical (or when will he schedule one)
    As standard heavy metals tests read low
    For all who do not methylate well so
    Mercury continues to confound and compound everyone!

    Loose limericks sink shipwrecks?

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