Pharma bro Martin Shkreli must pay $65 million to seven states and be allowed to work for a pharmaceutical company for life
- Shkreli was sued by the FTC and seven states for his abuse of the market
- He increased the price of life-saving drugs from $17.50 to $750 per pill
- US District Judge Denise Cote called him a ‘mastermind’ in her ruling
- AG Letitia James said: ‘Americans can rest easy… Pharma Bro no more’
- Shrkeli is still in prison, serving a seven-year sentence; he is expected to be released from prison in September
‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli has been ordered to pay nearly $65 million to seven states that have sued him for antitrust violations, in a decision that also banned him from working in a pharmaceutical industry.
US District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan ruled after a trial in which the US Federal Trade Commission and seven states charged Shkreli, the founder of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, of using illegal tactics to keep Daraprim rivals out of the market.
Now the seven plaintiffs — New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — are entitled to a payout, but it’s unclear where the money will come from and what the states will do with it if Shkreli ever pays up.
The states alleged in their case that Vyera had increased the price of Daraprim and illegally created “a web of anticompetitive restrictions” to prevent other companies from making cheaper generic versions. They claimed, among other things, that Vyera blocked access to a key ingredient for the drug and to data the companies would like to evaluate the drug’s market potential.
‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli pictured in 2017. He is still serving a seven-year prison sentence
Shkreli rose to prominence in 2015 after raising the price of Daraprim overnight to $750 per tablet from $17.50. The drug treats toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that threatens people with weakened immune systems.
In a 130-page decision, Cote accused Shkreli of founding two companies, Vyera and Retrophin Inc, that were intended to monopolize drugs so that he could benefit “on the backs” of patients, doctors and distributors.
“Shkreli was not a sidekick in, or a ‘remote, unrelated’ beneficiary of Vyera’s scheme,” Cote wrote in a 135-page op-ed.
“He was the mastermind behind the illegal behavior and the main person responsible over the years.”
She said the Daraprim plan was “particularly heartless and coercive” and that a lifetime ban on the industry was needed because of the “real danger” that Shkreli could become a repeat offender.
“Shkreli’s anti-competitive behavior at the expense of public health was blatant and reckless,” the judge wrote. He has no remorse. Denying him the opportunity to repeat that behavior is nothing but for the sake of justice.
“Envy, greed, lust and hatred” are not only “breaking up,” but they clearly motivated Shkreli and his partner to illegally drive up the price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives were at stake,” he said. . Attorney General James
‘But Americans can rest assured, because Martin Shkreli is no longer a pharmaceutical brother.
“A federal court not only found his conduct to be illegal, but also banned this convicted criminal from the pharmaceutical industry for life and fined him nearly $65 million.
“This is in addition to the $40 million we have already received from Vyera.
“The rich and powerful don’t play by their own rules, so I guess cash doesn’t rule everything around Mr. Shkreli.
“New Yorkers can rest assured that my office will do everything it can to hold the powerful accountable, in addition to fighting to protect their health and their wallets.”