“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli tries to get out of prison saying he could be useful in the fight against the coronavirus.
Shkreli, 37, has been in jail since 2018 for stealing $ 11 million worth of shares in his own business to repay investors in his failed hedge fund and sparked public anger when he raised the cost of Daraprim from $ 13.50 a pill to $ 750 a pill. He is currently on the verge of release from prison in 2023.
The disgraced drug seller made his request for release in an 11-page document published by Prospero Pharma, a company co-founded by Shkreli in 2015. The company went to trial in 2019 when it was charged to train only to undermine the company Retrophin, where Shkreli had been dismissed.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Share the whole story, not just the headlines
In the document, he says he does not want to be released for personal gain, but because he is a “biopharmaceutical entrepreneur twice” and could offer valuable information on the development of a treatment for coronaviruses.
His plea calls for three months’ leave “to assist with research on Covid-19” and said that “being released into the post-Covid world is not comfort even for those incarcerated”.
Shkreli said he did not expect to profit from the work and said that drug developing companies should only recover the costs of developing the drug and should not treat development as a for-profit business.
“I believe that any company developing a coronavirus drug should try to recover its cost as much as possible and be ready to do the job as a public servant at least,” he said.
In addition to advocating for his release, Shkreli also criticized the country’s response to the pandemic and argued that biopharmaceutical companies should put all their weight behind the search for a cure.
“Industry’s response to Covid-19 is inadequate. All biopharmaceutical companies should react with all the resources to fight this health emergency, ”he wrote. “The donations from these very valuable companies do not go far enough. “
Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman told New york post who “left to himself, I believe Martin could cure cancer.” “
However, industry blogger and medicinal chemist Derek Lowe spoke to Stat and said that Shkreli’s work was “not crazy, but it is also not particularly revolutionary, at least in my eyes “
Mr. Lowe appeared skeptical of Shkreli’s suggestions that his contributions on the ground warrant an extension of his sentence.
“We are not setting up another Manhattan project, nor are we looking for another Robert Oppenheimer,” said Mr. Lower. “But from the tone of his comments, I don’t know if he realizes any of these points.