“Pharma Bro” banned from the pharmaceutical industry, ordered to return $64.6 million

On Friday, a federal judge ordered “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli banned from the pharmaceutical industry for life.

The judge also ordered that he must disgorge $64.6 million he made in profits from increasing the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim by over 5,000 percent overnight. 

The ruling came from the U.S. District Court in Manhattan in response to a lawsuit that claimed illegal and monopolistic behavior was being exhibited by Shkreli in connection with Daraprim.

Shkreli is currently incarcerated for a conviction on charges of securities fraud. Plaintiffs in the recent case included the Federal Trade Commission, and seven states: New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

Judge Denise Cote found on Friday that while Shkreli was serving as the CE Oof Vyera, he violated federal and state laws with anticompetitive conduct to protect profits from Daraprim. Until recently, the drug was the only one federally approved to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic condition.

Cote noted that the lifetime ban that was sought by the plaintiffs “is a serio0us remedy and must be done with care and only if equity demands, but she eventually concluded, “Shkreli’s egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous illegal conduct warrants imposition of an injunction of this scope.”

She continued that Shkreli in 2015 “initiated a scheme to block the energy of generic drug competition so that he could reap the profits from Daraprim sales for as long as possible” once he increased the price of the medication. 

According to the judge, Shkreli’s tight control of the distribution of Daraprim prevented generic drug companies from gaining access to the amount of Daraprim they required to conduct testing demanded by the Food and Drug Administration.

“Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is a pharma bro no more,” commented New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The same plaintiffs claimed a $40 million settlement last month for the same allegations against Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which is the company that Shkreli had founded, in addition to a seven-year ban of his former business partner Kevin Mulleady. 




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