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Shkreli ordered to return 64 million dollars, excluded from the pharmaceutical industry 

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Shkreli ordered to return 64 million dollars, excluded from the pharmaceutical industry

| Business News Today | Fox News

Martin Shkreli must return $64.6 million in profits he and his former company reaped by raising the price and monopolizing the market for a life-saving drug, a federal judge ruled on Friday while banning the provocative ex-CEO and imprisoned from the pharmaceutical industry for the rest of his life.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s decision came weeks after a seven-day trial in December that featured tapes of conversations that Cote said showed Shkreli continued to exercise control over the company, Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC, behind bars and discussing ways to thwart generic releases. of its lucrative drug, Daraprim.

“Shkreli was not a secondary actor or ‘aloof and independent’ beneficiary of Vyera’s scheme,” Cote wrote in a 135-page review. “He was the mastermind of his unlawful conduct and the person primarily responsible for it over the years.”

The Federal Trade Commission and seven states filed suit in 2020 against the man known to the media as ‘Pharma Bro’, about two years after he was sentenced to prison in a securities fraud scheme unbound.

“‘Envy, greed, lust and hate’ don’t just ‘separate’, but they clearly motivated Mr. Shkreli and his partner to illegally raise the price of a life-saving drug while life of Americans was at stake,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said, peppering the written statement with references to the Wu-Tang Clan, whose one-of-a-kind album, Shkreli, had to shell out to fulfill of his legal debt.

“But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is no longer a Pharmacy Brother.”

Messages seeking comment were left for Shkreli’s lawyers.

Shkreli was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera – when he raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill after securing exclusive rights to the decades-old drug in 2015. It treats a disease rare parasite that strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

Shkreli defended the decision as working capitalism and said insurance and other programs ensured people who needed Daraprim would eventually get it.

Shkreli eventually offered hospitals a halving, which is still a 2,500% increase. But patients normally take most of a week’s treatment after returning home, so they and their insurers are still faced with the price of $750 a pill.

Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing in 2015, a day after he was arrested on securities fraud charges related to two bankrupt hedge funds he ran before entering the pharmaceutical industry. He was found guilty of lying to investors and defrauding them of millions of dollars. He is serving a seven-year sentence in a federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and is expected to be released in November.

The FTC and seven states – New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – alleged in their case that Vyera raised the price of Daraprim and illegally created “a web of anti-competitive restraints” to prevent other companies create cheaper generic versions. Among other things, they alleged, Vyera blocked access to a key drug ingredient and to data companies would want to assess the drug’s commercial potential.

Vyera and its parent company, Phoenixus AG, settled last month, agreeing to provide up to $40 million in 10-year relief to consumers and make Daraprim available to any potential generic competitor at the production price. of the drug. Former Vyera CEO Kevin Mulleady has agreed to pay $250,000 if he violates the settlement, which barred him from working for a pharmaceutical company “for seven years.

Shkreli proceeded with the trial but chose not to attend the proceedings, instead submitting a written affidavit which served as his testimony.

The trial record included evidence showing that Shkreli remained in regular contact with company executives even after his incarceration. A spreadsheet kept by an executive showed more than 1,500 contacts with Shkreli between December 2019 and July 2020.

The file also included recordings of conversations Shkreli had from prison in which he spoke about his control over Vyera, saying he had “no problem firing everyone”, bragging about how controlling he was. the board and comparing himself to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the pharmaceutical company. the juggernaut of social networks.

Shkreli ordered to return 64 million dollars, excluded from the pharmaceutical industry

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