‘Pharma Bro’ fraudster Martin Shkreli sentenced to life in prison by pharmaceutical industry and fined $ 64.6 million in damages

The judge said Shkreli’s plan to raise the price of the drug Daraprim overnight to $ 750 per tablet from $ 17.50 was ‘particularly heartless and coercive’.

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WASHINGTON – A U.S. judge on Friday excluded Martin Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay $ 64.6 million after he famously raised the price of the drug Daraprim and fought to block generic competitors.

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U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan ruled after a lawsuit in which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and seven states had accused Shkreli, the founder of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, of using illegal tactics to keep Daraprim rivals out of the market.

Shkreli became known in 2015 after raising Daraprim’s price overnight to $ 750 per tablet from $ 17.50. The drug treats toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that threatens people with weakened immune systems.

In a 130-page decision, Cote accused Shkreli of having set up two companies, Vyera and Retrophin Inc., designed to monopolize drugs so he could serve “on the back” of patients, doctors and distributors.

She said the Daraprim scheme was “particularly heartless and coercive” and that a life-long industrial ban was necessary because of the “real danger” that Shkreli could become a repeat offender.

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“Shkreli’s anti – competitive conduct at the expense of public health was overt and reckless,” the judge wrote. “He is relentless. To exclude him from the possibility of repeating this conduct is nothing, if not in the interest of justice.”

Following the decision, FTC President Lina Khan tweeted the decision, calling it a “fair result.”

Shkreli’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shkreli is serving seven years in prison for securities fraud. He did not attend the trial, which was held last month.

Vyera was founded in 2014 as Turing Pharmaceuticals and acquired Daraprim from Impax Laboratories Inc in 2015.

Regulators accused Vyera of protecting its dominance of Daraprim by ensuring that generic drug manufacturers could not get samples for cheaper versions, and preventing potential rivals from buying a key ingredient.

The seven states that joined the FTC case included California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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