A pharmaceutical company previously owned by Martin Shkreli known as “Pharma Bro” and its parent company agreed to pay up to $ 40 million to settle a complaint over allegations that they “stole from patients By increasing the price of a drug that saves lives. by about 4000 percent.
Shkreli, best known for drug pricing and his sarcastic online persona, has gained international notoriety through the allegations made against him and is currently in prison for security fraud.
The United States Federal Trade Commission said in a statement that its commission and co-plaintiffs from states, including New York, California and Illinois, had filed a court order that “put an end to the illegal project. Which she said was “organized” by Shkreli. to exploit patients “dependent on the lifesaving drug Daraprim”.
Shkreli is currently in prison for security fraud.
Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite that can be fatal in people with HIV, as well as others with health problems related to the immune system. It can also create health problems for children born to people infected during pregnancy.
The order comes after the antitrust complaint was filed in January 2020 against Shkreli, as well as his partner Kevin Mulleady, their company Vyera Pharmaceuticals, LLC and its parent company Phoenixus AG.
The lawsuit accused Shkreli and Mulleady of raising the price of the drug after securing the exclusive rights to it before concocting “an elaborate web of restrictions to illegally prevent competitors from producing a cheaper option,” the FTC said. .
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Under Tuesday’s order, Vyera and Phoenixus AG are expected to pay up to $ 40 million in victim assistance, while Mulleady has been banned from working with a pharmaceutical company for seven years.
Meanwhile, Shkreli, Vyera’s first CEO, is set to start an antitrust lawsuit over the allegations which is set to start on December 14.
“With respect to all defendants except Shkreli, this settlement resolves all claims filed by the FTC and state co-plaintiffs, as well as those filed in a related class action lawsuit,” the FTC said.
In a separate statement, FTC President Lina Khan said the regulations “put money back in the pockets of drug addict patients stolen by a monopoly ploy.”
“As the litigation against Shkreli continues, the ordinance ends the illegal business run by his companies, Vyera and Phoenixus, and bans his industry partner,” Khan said. “This strong relief sets a new standard and warns business leaders that they will face dire consequences for scamming the public by monopolizing markets for no reason. “
Shkreli is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence on a hedge fund securities fraud conviction he operated before entering the pharmaceutical industry.
Contacted after hours for comment, Vyera and Phoenixus AG did not immediately respond.
When the lawsuit was originally filed, Vyera called his claims baseless and denied ruling out potential competitors in the pharmaceutical industry, according to the Associated Press.