Hedge Fund: Martin Shkreli Faces New Charges in Drug Pricing Scheme
The FTC and NY Attorney General Announces a New Lawsuit
Martin Shkreli now faces new charges over the alleged price inflation of the drug Daraprim. The infamous “Pharma Bro” and his hedge fund bought the rights to the drug that treats malaria and foodborne illnesses.
The FTC and New York Attorney General Leticia James say that Shkreli’s fund manipulated the market. The case said they aimed to “line their pockets at the expense of the vulnerable patients and the healthcare system.”
Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals
Vyera Pharmaceuticals, the company before it became Turing, purchased Daraprim rights in 2015. Within 24 hours, the firm increased the cost of the drug from $13.50 per tablet to $750.
“Martin Shkreli and Vyera not only enriched themselves by despicably jacking up the price of this life-saving medication by 4,000 percent in a single day but held this critical drug hostage from patients and competitors as they illegally sought to maintain their monopoly,” James said in a statement.
Medical advocates raised concerns that the drug also provides treatment for AIDS, HIV, and other autoimmune diseases. They warned that the price hike would dramatically affect patients who relied on the drug. The price had been affordable for patients for more than 60 years.
The charges explain that Daraprim is the only FDA-approved drug to treat a fatal parasitic infection known as toxoplasmosis. They claim that Shkreli engaged in anti-competitive practices that prevented a generic version of the drug from production.
“We filed this lawsuit to stop Vyera’s egregious conduct, make the company pay for its illegal scheming, and block Martin Shkreli from ever working in the pharmaceutical industry again,” James said. “We won’t allow ‘Pharma Bros’ to manipulate the market and line their pockets at the expense of vulnerable patients and the health care system.”
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