Appeals Court Affirms Martin Shkreli’s Lifetime Ban From the Pharmaceutical Sector

( – “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli rose to infamy in 2015 when his company acquired a lifesaving drug and then increased the price by more than 5,400%. Two years later, he was convicted of federal charges related to securities fraud. He was later banned from pharmaceuticals for life. An appeals court has now affirmed that ban.

On January 23, a three-judge panel for the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the District Court for the Southern District of New York banning Shkreli for life from working in pharmaceuticals. The decision was related to a 2022 verdict that found the 40-year-old violated state and federal laws by spearheading a scheme to maintain a monopoly on Daraprim. The appeals court also upheld the order requiring him to pay $64.6 million in ill-gotten profits.

In 2015, Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals (now Vyera Pharmaceuticals), obtained the manufacturing license for the antiparasitic drug, Pyrimethamine (brand name Daraprim). He then raised the price of the drug from $17.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. The medication was used to help HIV patients, babies, and pregnant women. It was a shocking increase that brought the price of the drug up to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for some patients. He also engaged in conduct to impede competition and delay a generic version of the drug from being accessed by those who needed it.

The Federal Trade Commission released a statement about the appeals court ruling. Bureau of Competition Director Henry Liu called it a “win for consumers seeking affordable, lifesaving medication.” He also congratulated everyone who worked on the case.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares (R) also issued a statement about the decision, saying Shkreli didn’t just commit illegal acts; “they were immoral.” The former pharma CEO overcharged for the life-saving drug while “actively preventing generic competition” and took advantage of people when they were “at their lowest, most desperate point.”

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