A U.S. judge expelled Martin Shkreli from the drug industry and ordered the payment of $ 64.6 million

A U.S. judge on Friday banned Martin Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay $ 64.6 million after he famously raised the price of Daraprim and fought to block generic competitors. (Carlo Allegri, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON – A U.S. judge on Friday expelled Martin Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay $ 64.6 million after raising the price of Daraprim and fighting to block generic competitors.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has ruled in Manhattan following a lawsuit in which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and seven states accused Shkreli, the founder of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, of illegal tactics to prevent Darapri’s competitors from the market.

Shkreli became famous in 2015 after raising Daraprim’s price to $ 750 per tablet overnight from $ 17.50. The drug cures toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that threatens people with a weakened immune system.

In a 130-page decision, Cote accused Shkreli of creating two companies, Vyera and Retrofin, to monopolize drugs so that he could profit “on the back” of patients, doctors and distributors.

She said Daraprim’s scheme was “particularly callous and coercive” and needed a lifetime ban on the industry because of the “real danger” that Shkreli could become a repeat offender.

“Shkreli’s anti-competitive behavior at the expense of public health was flagrant and ruthless,” the judge wrote. “He is unrepentant. Forbidding him the opportunity to repeat this behavior is nothing but in the interests of justice.”

Following the verdict, FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan tweeted the decision and called it a “fair result.”

Shkreli’s lawyers did not respond immediately to the request for comment.

Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence for securities fraud. He did not attend the trial last month.

Vyera was founded in 2014 as Turing Pharmaceuticals and in 2015 acquired Daraprim from Impax Laboratories.

Regulators have accused Vyera of protecting its dominance over Daraprim by ensuring that generic manufacturers cannot obtain samples for cheaper versions and preventing potential competitors from purchasing a key ingredient.

Among the seven states that joined the FTC case were California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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