'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli banned from industry, ordered to repay $64.6M

Katie Adams -

Disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli must pay $64.6 million and will be barred from the pharmaceutical industry for life for violating antitrust law, a federal court ordered Jan. 14.

Mr. Shkreli raised the price of Daraprim, which treats a life-threatening parasitic infection, to astronomical levels. In 2015, he acquired the decades-old drug and raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. He became known as "pharma bro" for his unapologetic demeanor when facing outcry from lawmakers and patient advocates over the price increase.

In her ruling, Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said Mr. Shkreli tried to monopolize Daraprim via anticompetitive tactics. She said he and his former company, now known as Vyera Pharmaceuticals, generated $64.6 million in excess profits from Daraprim sales through the tactics and ordered him to repay that amount.

The ruling said Vyera changed the drug's distribution and hindered competition from generic drugmakers. It said the exorbitantly high price forced patients "to forego this medically necessary treatment."

The lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of seven states. 

Mr. Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors during his work managing two hedge funds. The sentence is unrelated to his drug pricing scandal, and he is expected to be released later in 2022, according to The New York Times.

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