The Internet's Most Hated CEO May Now Be in Even More Hot Water
The Internet’s “most hated man” could now be in even more hot water.
Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under fire from outraged social media users last month after his company raised the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, by more than 5,000 percent practically over night. The increase took the drug, which is used to treat AIDS and cancer patients, from $13.50 per tablet to $750.
In response to the avalanche of outrage, Shkreli announced on Sept. 22 that he would lower the cost of the medication, NBC reported. He never specified what the new cost would be and has yet to lower it.
Now, Shkreli may be in trouble for another questionable practice. The New York attorney general’s office is investigating him for intentionally restricting the distribution of Daraprim, WGAL News reported.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is looking into whether Turing restricted distribution of the drug specifically to keep generic drug manufacturers from getting the samples they need to create their own version, which would potentially affect Shkreli’s ability to maintain such high prices for Daraprim.
Schneiderman’s office sent a letter to Shkreli informing him of the probe and stating that he is required to retain all documents that could be relevant to the investigation.
“While competition might ordinarily be expected to deter such a massive price increase, it appears that Turing may have taken steps to prevent that competition from arising,” said the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times.
How Martin Shkreli became one of the most hated men on social media: http://t.co/aJnMb14CIE pic.twitter.com/6DgZSoJE7M
— VICE News (@vicenews) September 23, 2015
The company is currently not permitting Daraprim to be sold in retail pharmacies, opting to instead distribute through “a small number of specialty pharmacies,” according to the letter.
“Turing’s actions may be restraining competition unlawfully, and have the potential to greatly impede access to a drug that is critical for the public health,” Eric Stock, the antitrust bureau chief for the attorney general, told the New York Times.
Turing did not respond to the Times’s request for comment, but it released a statement Tuesday, Oct. 13, saying the company’s goal is “to ensure that every patient who needs Daraprim has ready and affordable access to [Daraprim],” WGAL News reported.
h/t The Daily Dot