32-year-old Martin Shkreli, who recently set off a firestorm of controversy when the pharma CEO hiked the price of Daraprim 5,500 percent, has backed down amid the controversy that had everyone from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and just about every news organization denouncing him.
Daraprim is a drug that was developed 62 years ago and is used to treat various illnesses and prevent infections in cancer and AIDS patients.
Initially, Shkreli was brazen in the face of criticism, claiming that the drug was “still underpriced” even after the titanic price spike.
Frankly, it’s hard to feel much sympathy, but it’s good to know that millions of Americans will receive the life-saving treatments they deserve at an affordable price.
Executive chairman of Turing Pharmaceuticals and possible sociopath Martin Shkreli made himself a lightning rod of hate when he recently decided to raise the price of Daraprim – a 62-year-old drug used in AIDS, chemo treatments, and certain infant infections – from $13.50 to $750 per pill in a single day.
The 32-year-old pharma CEO has shown a pattern of this kind of behavior, and has and is being taken to court for his unscrupulous dealings.
Pharma CEO to Roll Back Price Gouge
Shkreli founded a biotech company called Retrophin in 2011, but he was “unceremoniously dumped” on Sep 30, 2014 when it became clear he had “committed stock-trading irregularities and other violations of securities rules.” He had been giving away stock to friends and business contacts to square debts and salvage his failing investment firm founded in 2009, MSMB Capital Management.
Last month, Retrophin sued Shkreli for $65 million in damages for these actions, claiming he essentially turned Retrophin into his own private checking account, pulling down $3 million in personal assets even as he dismantled the company from within and pressured others to buy in.
This process reportedly began after MSMB Capital Management lost over $7 million after a bad investment in Orexigen, a pharmeceutical company focused on obesity.
The lawsuit includes the allegations that Shkreli threatened and harassed a former MSMB employee, Timothy Pierotti, and his family. Pierotti received a letter, which he believes was sent by Shkreli, reading “I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this.” He also says that Shkreli contacted his children on Facebook and maligned their father, accusing him of theft and betrayal.
Pierotti’s claim was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
Due to Shkreli’s marauding hedge fund past, Bloomberg’s Peter M. Barrett wonders “whether, after years of betting on biotech stocks to fall, he’d undergone a conversion or was using his knowledge to game the field.”
Shkreli has berated anyone who has questioned the recent price hike of Daraprim, even calling one reporter a “moron.” He claims that customers will actually end up paying less and that half the drug will be given away for $1 a pill or less, but experts say that the federal government and insurance companies will be stuck paying the difference – a price then passed on to taxpayers and consumers through back channels, taxes, premiums, etc.
Biotech stock indexes have fallen since Democratic frontrunners Clinton and Sanders have taken him and the industry to task for “price gouging,” and the public outcry against Shkreli has been swift and sure.
Despite his arrogant reassurances that customers will not be paying the costs out-of-pocket and that no treatments will be stopped or delayed, that exact scenario has already started playing out. Dr. Aberg of Mt. Sinai has stated that each case now requires special review at their hospital, and that others may discontinue its use altogether. She stated, “This seems to be all profit-driven for somebody and I just think it’s a very dangerous process.”
Dr. Aberg of Mount Sinai said some hospitals will now find Daraprim too expensive to keep in stock, possibly resulting in treatment delays. She said that Mount Sinai was continuing to use the drug, but each use now required a special review.
“This seems to be all profit-driven for somebody,” Dr. Aberg said, “and I just think it’s a very dangerous process.”
Erin Elizabeth is a long time activist with a passion for the healing arts, working in that arena for a quarter century. Her site HealthNutNews.com is less than 2 years old, but has already cracked the top 20 Natural Health sites world-wide. She is an author, public speaker, and has recently done some TV and film programs for some of her original workwhich have had international media coverage. You can get Erin’s e-book for free here and also watch a short documentary on how she overcame vax injuries, Lyme disease, a significant weight gain, and more. Follow Erin on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.