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‘Pharma Boy’ Shkreli Gets the Shaft… Again

By on January 17, 2022 0

COLUMBUS – Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced today that a federal court has ruled in favor of Ohio, six other states and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in finding that the criminal convicted Martin Shkreli had engaged in illegal and monopolistic behavior while serving as controlled Vyera Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Phoenixus AG.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has agreed that Mr. Shkreli violated federal and state laws by engaging in anticompetitive conduct to protect profits on the life-saving drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine). The court banned him from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay nearly $65 million.

“Martin Shkreli thought he could make his own rules because he had the money, but no one is above the law,” Mr Yost said. “Not only is this ‘pharma bro’ in jail, but now he’s definitely out of pharma.”

In early 2020, the coalition of states and the FTC filed a lawsuit against Vyera, Mr. Shkreli and his business partner – Kevin Mulleady – for anti-competitive behavior that stifled competition and allowed defendants to exorbitantly raise the price of Daraprim over 4,000% overnight, to $750 per pill.

Daraprim is used to treat the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis and until relatively recently was the only drug approved for such use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Toxoplasmosis can have serious and often fatal consequences for people with weakened immune systems, including babies born to women infected with the disease and people with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS. .

Daraprim has been the treatment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America as the initial treatment of choice for acute toxoplasmosis.

The drug was cheap and accessible for decades – until in August 2015 Vyera bought the drug and immediately raised the price from $17.50 to $750 per pill.

To preserve the astronomical price and their ill-gotten gains, the group created a paper bottleneck to thwart competing generic manufacturers for as long as possible.

The illegal scheme involved restrictive distribution and supply agreements, as well as data secrecy, with the intent and effect of delaying the entry of lower-cost generic competitors.

Mr. Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors while running two hedge funds.

Last month, Phoenixus, Vyera and Mulleady reached a settlement with the states and the FTC that, among other things, required the company to pay up to $40 million to offset ill-gotten gains and barred Mr. Mulleady of the pharmaceutical industry. for seven years.

Attorney General Yost wishes to thank the staff and management of the FTC for their partnership in this important case, as well as the assistance of the staff and management of his co-plaintiff states: New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina , Pennsylvania and Virginia. .