The Washington Post

Judge bans Shkreli from drug industry

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Martin Shkreli must return $64.6 million in profits he and his former company reaped from raising the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim, a federal judge ruled Friday while also barring the provocativ­e, imprisoned ex-CEO from participat­ing in the pharmaceut­ical industry for the rest of his life.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling came several weeks after a seven-day bench trial in December. The Federal Trade Commission and seven states brought the case in 2020 against the man dubbed “Pharma Bro” in the media.

Shkreli’s lawyer did not immediatel­y respond to a request for comment.

Shkreli was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceut­icals — later Vyera — when it jacked up the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill after obtaining exclusive rights to the decadesold drug in 2015. It treats a rare parasitic disease that strikes pregnant individual­s, cancer patients and AIDS patients.

He defended the decision as capitalism at work and said insurance and other programs ensured that people who need Daraprim would ultimately get it.

But the move sparked outrage from medical centers to Congress to the 2016 presidenti­al campaign trail, where Hillary Clinton termed it price-gouging and future President Donald Trump called Shkreli “a spoiled brat.”

Shkreli resigned as Turing’s CEO in 2015, a day after he was arrested on securities fraud charges related to hedge funds he ran before getting into the pharmaceut­icals industry. He was convicted and is serving a seven-year prison sentence.

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