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‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli ordered to pay $64 million to raise cost of life-saving drug

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‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli ordered to pay $64 million to raise cost of life-saving drug

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Shkreli raised the price of an HIV drug by 4,000%.

Martin Shkreli became infamous and earned the nickname ‘Pharma Bro’ after raising the price of a potentially life-saving pest control drug in 2015. A federal judge on Friday ruled he must pay $64 million for his actions .

The judge said Shkreli should pay the financial penalty, equivalent to the profits from his scheme, and receive a lifetime ban from participating in the pharmaceutical industry.

Shkreli was widely condemned in 2015 when he raised the price of Daraprim – an antimalarial drug often prescribed to HIV-positive patients – by 4,000% and launched a plan to block the entry of generic drug competition so that it can reap the profits from Daraprim sells for as long as possible, the judge said.

Through its tight control over the distribution of Daraprim, Shkreli prevented generic drug makers from having access to the amount of Daraprim they needed to perform the tests required by the Food and Drug Administration. Through exclusive supply agreements, Shkreli has also blocked access to the two main manufacturers of the active pharmaceutical ingredient for Daraprim.

Through these strategies, the judge said, Shkreli delayed generic competition entry by at least 18 months. Shkreli and his companies profited over $64 million from this scheme.

“Envy, greed, lust and hatred don’t just part, but they obviously motivated Mr. Shkreli and his partner to illegally raise the price of a life-saving drug when the lives of Americans were at stake” , said New York. York Attorney General Letitia James, whose office sued several other attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission.

Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted of securities fraud in August 2017 in connection with his work at hedge funds MSMB Capital Management before founding Turing Pharmaceuticals. He had called the lawsuit a “witch hunt” and blamed his increased cost of Daraprim for making him a target for federal investigators.

In May 2020, Shkreli requested early release from prison, saying he wanted to research a potential cure for COVID-19. The request was denied.

‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli ordered to pay $64 million to raise cost of life-saving drug

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