A U.S. judge has ruled that former pharma company CEO Martin Shkreli was responsible for nearly $10.5m in losses in a securities fraud scheme. He now faces up to 20 years in prison.
Martin Shkreli became infamous in pharmaceutical circles when he raised the price of Daraprim (Pyrimethamine), an anti-parasitic drug that is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
Marketed since the 1950s, the drug was acquired in 2015 by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up company run by Shkreli. Astonishingly, with even the global mass media aghast at his blatant greed, Shkreli shamelessly attempted to portray the 5000% price rise as “altruistic”.
Shkreli’s story reminds us that, for the robber barons behind the pharmaceutical ‘business with disease’, it is profits, not the interests of patients, that are the highest priority. Over the next decade or two, he will likely have plenty of time to reflect on the immoral nature of this philosophy.