'Pharma bro' Shkreli sued by United States regulators for drug price hike

28 Janvier, 2020, 19:06 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Martin Shkreli former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG centre was convicted of securities fraud in 2015 for misleading investors regarding his track record and performance

The "bad boy" entrepreneur, 36, is accused of using unscrupulous tactics to stop competitors making versions of Daraprim and raising the cost from $13.50 a pill to $750.

Shkreli, who is in prison in Pennsylvania, became notorious as "Pharma Bro" when he sharply raised the price of the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim while chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Manhattan by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James. With these agreements, Shkreli and Vyera sought to keep potential generic competitors from accurately assessing the market.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, calls the suit a baseless and says Shkreli looks forward to defeating it.

After acquiring the rights to the drug in 2015, Shkreli said in an email to a contact: 'Should be a very handsome investment for all of us'.

The drug's patent protection had expired, but the company used what's known as a "closed distribution system" to restrict who could buy it.

According to the lawsuit, Shkreli and Vyera put in place a "web of contractual restrictions" that stopped distributors from reselling Daraprim to generics makers to thwart the bioequivalance testing required by the FDA in developing copycat drugs. Many passages are redacted; the AG's office explained that its investigation may have involved competitive corporate information.

It also accuses the company of maneuvering to cut off potential rivals' access to suppliers of a key ingredient for the medication, and shielding sales data that generic-drug manufacturers would want to evaluate the drug's market potential.

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As a result, consumers and other Daraprim purchasers would likely have saved tens of millions of dollars by buying generic versions of the medicine, according to the lawsuit.

The defendants "acquired the USA rights to Daraprim from the only existing supplier and immediately raised the price from $17.50 to $750 per tablet", according to the complaint.

"We won't allow "Pharma Bros" to manipulate the market and line their pockets at the expense of vulnerable patients and the health care system", said James, a Democrat.

The suit seeks to permanently ban Shkreli and Mulleady from working for a pharmaceutical company or owning any part of one.

His lawyers said it was a joke, but a judge revoked Shkreli's bail and jailed him.

Shkreli was previously handed an 84-month prison sentence in 2017 for securities fraud and conspiracy and ordered to forfeit more than $US7.3 ($11) million.

Convicted securities fraudster Martin Shkreli is facing fresh allegations that he and his company purposely and illegally inflated the price of the drug Daraprim, a life-saving medication used to prevent malaria and treat deadly diseases caused by foodborne illness. "I took down Martin Shkreli".

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