The entrepreneur Martin Shkreli had made himself very unpopular in the United States by exploding the price of a drug. He was found guilty of monopoly and banned for life from the pharmaceutical industry.
Provocative pharmacy entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, who made himself wildly unpopular in the United States by skyrocketing the price of a drug, was found guilty of monopoly and ordered on Friday to donate his profits from its anti-competitive practices, or nearly $65 million. Imprisoned for another case, the man was also banned for life from the pharmaceutical sector, judge Denise Cote decided.
Nicknamed for a time “the most hated man in the United States”, Martin Shkreli, 38, had made a specialty of buying patents on cheap drugs and then massively increasing the price. The Daraprim, intended to treat toxoplasmosis, had thus gone overnight from 17.60 dollars a pill to 750 dollars in 2015. The American competition authority (FTC) and the prosecutors of seven States had filed a complaint in January 2020 against the entrepreneur and the company he founded.
Originally called Turing and since renamed Vyera, the latter had pledged in December not to try to block competition again on this product and to pay up to 40 million dollars to a compensation fund to settle the lawsuits. The deal did not include its founder, who formally handed over the reins of the company at the end of 2015, and his trial took place over seven days in December.
More than 4000% increase
Already sentenced in 2018 to seven years in prison for stock market fraud, he is currently serving his sentence in a penal institution in Pennsylvania and should theoretically be released in November 2022.
Martin Shkreli not only increased the price of Daraprim by more than 4000%, but he also organized himself to prevent the arrival of competitors on the market for as long as possible, estimated the judge. Vyera has on the one hand prevented generic drug manufacturers from having access to a sufficient quantity of Daraprim to conduct the necessary tests, she detailed. By entering into exclusivity agreements, the company also blocked access to two essential ingredients for the manufacture of the product.
Martin Shkreli can be held responsible for this strategy since, even after renouncing his titles of general manager and then chairman of the board of directors, he continued to exercise a certain control over the management of the company as a shareholder. majority, including from prison, underlined the judge.