Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive, was barred “for life” from participating in the pharmaceutical industry by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on Friday and was ordered to pay nearly $65 million in fines to seven states, including New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, and Virginia.
“Based on the trial evidence, Shkreli will be barred for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry and is ordered to disgorge $64.6 million in net profits from his wrongdoing,” Cote stated in her judgment.
When Shkreli’s pharmaceutical business Turing bought Daraprim in 2015, the price was raised from $13.50 to $750 per tablet, bringing him under considerable scrutiny. Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a fatal parasite condition.
Shkreli defended the move, saying, “If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that that should be a crime.”
Shkreli’s tight control over Daraprim distribution prevented generic pharma businesses from acquiring the quantity of Daraprim required to complete FDA-mandated testing. Shkreli also limited access to the two most important manufacturers of the active medicinal ingredient for Daraprim through exclusive supply agreements.
According to Cote, Shkreli’s illegal behavior “delayed the entry of generic competition for at least eighteen months. In addition, Shkreli and his companies profited over $64 million from this scheme.”
When Shkreli approved the shocking price jump for the drug, Vyera was known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, bringing him enormous condemnation at the time from a wide range of people, including former President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Christopher Casey, Shkreli’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to Bureau of Prisons online records, Shkreli is now serving an unrelated jail sentence at a federal facility in Pennsylvania and is scheduled to be released in November.
Shkreli was found guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017 for cheating investors out of more than $10 million in a Ponzi scheme between 2009 and 2014. He was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and ordered to surrender over $7.4 million in assets and pay a $75,000 fine in 2018.
According to reports, Shkreli was purportedly still running a medicine company from prison, and Cote mentioned in her judgment that Shkreli interacted with executives via a contraband cell phone.