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‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli Hit With $64 Million Fine, Industry Ban (1)

Jan. 14, 2022, 7:53 PM

Martin Shkreli, the convicted “Pharma Bro” who was brought down by a 2015 drug-pricing scandal, was ordered to pay $64 million in damages for monopolizing the market for a life-saving drug.

Shkreli, the former chief executive officer of Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC, was also banned for life from the pharmaceutical industry in the antitrust ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the suit with six other states and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, said in a statement that Shkreli was motivated by “envy” and “greed” when he decided to “illegally jack up the price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives hung in the balance.”

Shkreli is already serving a seven-year sentence for securities fraud committed while running two hedge funds, though the same drug -- Daraprim -- is at the center of both cases.

Vyera, then known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, was launched by Shkreli in 2015. That’s when he acquired Daraprim, a once-affordable anti-infective used to treat a sometimes-deadly parasitic infection, from the only existing supplier. Shkreli then raised the price from $17.50 to $750 per tablet.

Cote found that Shkreli made illegal agreements with generic drug makers to delay introduction of cheaper versions of the drug after he jacked up the price.

“Shkreli does not dispute that it was his intention to impede generic pharmaceutical companies from launching competitive products that would threaten the price of Daraprim,” the judge wrote. “The plaintiffs have shown that the restraints Vyera implemented succeeded in doing just that.”

Last month, Vyera and another former chief executive officer, Kevin Mulleady, agreed to pay as much as $40 million to resolve their involvement in the federal antitrust lawsuit filed by New York and other states.

Read more: ‘Pharma Bro’ Company Vyera Settles Suit Over Drug Pricing (2)

(Updates with detail from the litigation)

To contact the reporters on this story:
Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net;
Sebastian Tong in San Francisco at stong41@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Angela Moon at hmoon43@bloomberg.net;
Katia Porzecanski at kporzecansk1@bloomberg.net

Jim Silver, Anthony Lin

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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