Judge Bans Martin Shkreli From Pharmaceutical Industry for Life, Orders Him to Return $64M in Profits

A federal judge has ordered Martin Shkreli to return $64.6 million he made in profits from hiking up the price of a lifesaving drug in 2015.

Photograph of Martin Shkreli in DC


Photograph of Martin Shkreli in DC

Martin Shkreli has taken some additional blows in court, with a federal judge now banning him from the pharmaceutical industry forever, and ruling that he has to return the $64.6 million in profits he made while at the helm of his pharmaceutical company.

The Associated Press reports that U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit that claimed that even though the Pharma Bro was incarcerated, he still had command over the company he founded, Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which was once Turing Pharmaceuticals. He was also allegedly attempting to stop the generic version of Darapim, the lifesaving antiparasitic drug that he profited from in 2015, from coming to market in an effort to avoid competition.

Shkreli earned his millions when he boosted the prices of Darapim, which can be given to pregnant women, HIV patients, and babies, among other patients. At one point, Darapim was the only drug that was approved by the FDA to treat the parasitic condition toxoplasmosis.

The Federal Trade Commission and seven states—New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia—filed the lawsuit against Shkreli. Those plaintiffs also won a $40 million settlement from Vyera for the same allegations last month.

“Through his tight control of the distribution of Daraprim, Shkreli prevented generic drug companies from getting access to the quantity of Daraprim they needed to conduct testing demanded by the Food and Drug Administration,” Judge Cote wrote in her ruling. “Through exclusive supply agreements, Shkreli also blocked off access to the two most important manufacturers of the active pharmaceutical ingredient … for Daraprim.”

Shkreli got the name Pharma Bro following the millions he earn from Darapim—hiking the price per pill from $13.50 to $750—and his other antics like trolling his critics on Twitter and buying Wu-Tang’s one-of-one album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for a reported $2 million.

He was later charged with defrauding investors from two hedge funds he operated prior to Turing, and for using the money to launch the drug company Retrophin. He was convicted in 2017 and is set to be released from prison in November.

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