Susan Walsh / AP
NEW YORK – Martin Shkreli must return $ 64.6 million in profits he and his former company earned from raising the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, a federal judge ruled on Friday, banning the provocative, imprisoned former CEO from joining the pharmaceutical industry. For the rest of life.
U.S. District Judge Denis Cote’s decision came weeks after a seven-day trial in December. In 2020, the Federal Trade Commission and seven states launched a case against a man nicknamed “Pharma Bro” in the media.
Shkreli’s lawyer did not respond immediately to the request for comment.
Shkreli was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera – when she increased Daraprim’s price from $ 13.50 to $ 750 per pill after she acquired exclusive rights to the drug in 2015. It treats a rare parasitic disease that affects pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients.
He advocated decisions like capitalism at work, saying insurance and other programs ensured that people who needed Daraprim would eventually get it.
However, the move sparked outrage from medical centers to Congress in the wake of the 2016 presidential campaign, where candidate Hillary Clinton called it more expensive and future President Donald Trump called Shkreli a “spoiled brat.”
Shkreli eventually offered the hospitals a half discount – still an increase of 2,500%. But patients usually receive most of the weekly treatment when they return home, so they and their insurers still faced the price of $ 750 per pill.
He resigned as CEO of Turing in 2015, the day after he was arrested on allegations of hedge fund securities fraud, which he led before entering the pharmaceutical industry. He has been convicted and is serving a seven-year prison sentence.
Vyera Pharmaceuticals has been sued in federal court in the New York FTC and seven states: New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
They argued that Vyera had made Daraprim more expensive and had illegally created a “network of anti-competitive restrictions” to prevent other companies from creating cheaper generic versions, among other things by blocking them from accessing a key component of drugs and data that companies wanted. in order to evaluate the market potential of the drug.
Vyera and its parent company Phoenixus last month agreed to provide consumers with relief of up to $ 40 million over 10 years and make Daraprim available to all potential generic competitors at the cost of making the drug.
Former Vyera CEO Kevin Mulleady has agreed to pay $ 250,000 if he breaks an agreement that forbids him to work for a pharmaceutical company for seven years.
Shkreli proceeded to court.