An entrepreneur recently became the new face of corporate level greed because he purposely hiked up the cost of a lifesaving drug. Martin Shkreli is a former hedge manager and obnoxious self-promoter who took to Twitter and stating that he’s a guy everyone should consider as “the world’s most eligible bachelor out there.” He’s an avid Twitter user and frequently streams most of his work live over the internet. He would often invite people to talk with him on chat. He called the people that followed him his “fans.”
He was arrested on securities fraud charges and taken into the custody of the federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Shkreli pleaded not guilty to the charges and was later release on a $5 million bail. If he is charged with the crimes, he could face up to two decades in jail. Upon bail, Shkreli exited the courthouse without providing a single comment to the reporters around him. His attorneys also didn’t provide any comments. The story of how and why he got arrested spread online quickly.
Many Americans agreed that he got what he deserved, and it was a long time in the making. Headlines in New York referred to him as “America’s most hated man,” “biotech’s bad boy” and “rug industry’s villain.” Some the individuals began to crack jokes about the lawyers who will be representing him because they jacked up their hourly rates by 5,000%.
Prosecutors handling the case stated that between the year 2009 and 2014, Shkreli lost a portion of his hedge fund because he was careless. It appears that to make up for his loss, he stole from Retrophin, a well-known pharmaceutical company. It didn’t seem to matter to him that he was a CEO with the business because he took around $11 million. He planned to use the money to pay back whatever loss to his clients.
Robert Capers, an attorney in the US, mentioned that Shkreli was charged with conspiracy and securities fraud. Shkreli was completely vilified after Turing Pharmaceuticals, a drug company spent about $55 million for the United States to sell rights on a medicine called Daraprim. It also promptly raised the prices from $13.50 to about $720 per bill. The drug is well over sixty years old and is currently the only drug of its kind to get approved for the treatment of Toxoplasmosis, which is an extremely rare parasitic disease that primarily attacks women who are pregnant, have AISS, or are cancer patients.
The move started a wave of utter outrage that has to do with the upcoming presidential campaign trail. It also helped prompt a Capitol Hill hearing on the prices of drugs. Donald Trump called Shkreli nothing more than a spoiled brat. Hilary Clinton thought was he did was price-gouging and stated the company’s behavior was completely outrageous. After learning about the story, Bernie Sanders took back his donation he originally bestowed Shkreli. Several judges mentioned that the investigation led to his arrest dated back from the previous year before there was a drug price increase.
Shkreli defended the increase and stated that insurance, as well as a few other programs, would allow patients to have access to the drugs, and profits would be used to help fund research fornew treatments. He also talked unapologetically during a “business is business” debate for the huge price jump.
Shkreli even added that if given the chance, he likely would have raised it more. In the past month, Shkreli accepted an interview at the Forbes Healthcare Center. He stated that “although no one wants to say it, although there is not a soul here proud of it, it is a capitalist system with capitalist rules.”
He added that his investors expected for him to maximize profits. During all this, Shkreli said that Turing planned to reduce the cost of Daraprim. Now the company is planning on lowering prices hospitals pay for Seraphim by as much as half. Insurance companies will get trapped in the bulk of the cluster of the tab, possibly driving up on insurance costs and treatments.