Martin Shkreli: who is "Pharma Bro" and why he will have to pay US $ 64 million - Start Up Gazzete
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Martin Shkreli: who is “Pharma Bro” and why he will have to pay US $ 64 million


Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical company executive who ordered drastic price increases on a life-saving drug, has been banned from the industry for life.

On Friday, Judge Denise Cote ordered him to pay back $ 64.6 million in profits he made from buying a drug patent and then vastly increasing its price.

The judge ruled that Shkreli’s actions violated antitrust laws.

Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors and using funds from one of the companies he founded to his advantage.

But this new court decision has to do with an event that happened in 2015, when it decided to increase the price of Daraprim , a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis and malaria, changing its price from US$13.50 to US$750.

It was an increase of around 4000%, overnight.

Martin Shkreli with his lawyer in 2017
Martin Shkreli with his lawyer in 2017.

Shkreli also created supply agreements to prevent competitors from offering a generic version of the off-patent drug, which is used to treat the parasitic disease in pregnant women and HIV patients and is critical to saving their lives.

“Pharma Bro”

Known on Wall Street as “Pharma Bro”, Shkreli’s highly unpopular actions earned him the nickname “America’s Most Hated Man”.

The businessman, who is currently 38 years old, became especially well-known when Democrat Hillary Clinton gave him as an example – in the middle of the 2016 electoral campaign – about the excesses in the price of medicines .


The son of Albanian immigrants, Shkreli founded his first investment fund at the age of 21.

In 2012, he created Retrophin Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to the treatment of rare diseases, and two years later, its shares had appreciated from US$3 to US$20.

He then opened Turing Pharmaceuticals – later renamed Vyera Pharmaceuticals  through which he bought Daraprim in 2015.

Most recently, in 2020, seven states and the US Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against him saying he had violated state and federal laws prohibiting anti-competitive conduct.

US District Judge Denise Cote called Shkreli the “main mover” in the plan to raise the price of Daraprim.

Martin Shreli
Shkreli founded his first investment fund at the age of 21.

“It was his idea and he directed every step of that decision,” Cote wrote.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, one of the officials who filed the lawsuit, celebrated the judge’s decision.

James said that ” envy, greed, lust and hate  motivated Shkreli and his partner to illegally increase “the price of a life-saving drug, while the lives of many Americans hung in the balance.”

“But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is no longer a Pharma Bro,” he added.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

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