Martin Shkreli is expelled from the drug industry and has to pay $ 64.6 million

Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical director best known for raising the price of an old drug without apology, has to pay $ 64.6 million and is expelled from the pharmaceutical industry for antitrust violations in connection with the drug, a federal court ordered on Friday.

Mr Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors about his work in managing two hedge funds. This belief is not related to the saga of drug prices, which has made him famous. It is expected to be released later this year.

In 2015, Mr. Shkreli – then a 30-year-old pharmaceutical entrepreneur who is not well known outside his field – acquired a decades-old drug known as Daraprim, which is used to treat life-threatening parasitic infections, and raised it to $ 750 per tablets, compared to $ 13.50. The incident has worried politicians and the public, who have already feared rising drug prices and the role that pharmaceutical companies can play in the unavailability of drugs.

Most pharmaceutical managers are raising drug prices more quietly and gradually, with assurances of patient access, but Mr Shkreli seemed unfortunate. He became known as a “pharma bro” for his cheeky approach when he faced criticism from lawmakers and others for rising drug prices.

On Friday, Judge Denise L. Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Mr. Shkreli tried to maintain a monopoly on Daraprim through anti-competitive tactics. The lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorneys General of seven states, including New York.

The judge found that Mr. Shkreli had violated state and federal antitrust laws and that his former company, now known as Vyera Pharmaceuticals, had generated $ 64.6 million in profits from the sale of Darapri.

The court found that under Mr. Shkreli’s control, Vyera had changed the way the drug was distributed and prevented competition in the generics market. As a result, consumers have been harmed by higher prices and fewer drug options, “forcing many patients and doctors to make difficult and risky decisions to treat life-threatening diseases,” the Attorney General’s office in New York said in a press release. .

Mr Shkreli’s lawyers did not immediately return a request for an opinion on Friday afternoon.

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