Price-gouging pharma-dick Martin Shkreli once threatened employee’s family

Martin Shkreli spent most of Monday defending his company’s decision to raise the price of a life-saving drug critical to HIV treatments from $13.50 to $750 per pill, a 5,000% increase. His justification? His company, Turing Pharmaceuticals “needs to turn a profit.”

Appearing on Bloomberg, Shkreli maintained that while his company was already turning a profit on the drug of $5 million, that was not enough, and that patients “deserve a drug company that’s making a fair profit.” Because to Shkreli, that’s what patients with HIV are really concerned about when they’re going through treatment, how much money the drug company and its stakeholders are making off their disease.

“We’re the first company that really focused on this product. And I think that’s a great thing, because ultimately companies before us were actually just giving it away, almost,” Shkreli stated. “The price that they were pricing it at, $13.50, you only needed less than 100 pills. So at the end of the day the price per course of treatment — to save your life! — was only $1,000.”

Holy cow! You mean people weren’t having to go into severe, back-breaking debt in order to save their lives? That’s awful! I thought this was America!

“Turing is a very small company, it’s a new company, and we’re not a profitable company. So for us to try to exist and maintain a profit I think is pretty reasonable,” Shkreli told CNBC on Monday. “I think profits are a great thing to stay in your corporate existence.”

Never mind that the Turing Pharmaceuticals isn’t exactly breaking the bank manufacturing the drug in question. Daraprim costs only $1 to make. But Shkreli insists a lot of other figures have to be factored in, such as “cost of distribution” and “patient relations.”

He also says that the extra profits will go towards making a newer, better drug to replace Daraprim, though The Times reported the medical community says one isn’t needed. Shkreli also has stated his company will offer the drug free or extend co-pay assistance to patients who can’t afford the price increase (sticking the difference of the cost with the feds and private insurance companies, who will in turn pass it on to taxpayers and consumers). But it’s really hard to believe anything that comes out of this weasel’s mouth considering his track record of thievery, fraud, and stalking.

As reported by Raw Story, Shkreli is currently being sued for $65 million in damages by Retrophin, a company he founded and was later unceremoniously dumped from, for allegedly “giving away shares to friends” and using the biotech firm’s assets “to pay off personal debts and keep afloat his sinking investment firm, MSMB Capital Management.” Raw Story further notes that the suit includes accusations that Shkreli threatened a former MSMB employee and his family:

“I hope to see you and your four children homeless and will do whatever I can to assure this,” the former employee Timothy Pierotti, claimed his old boss had written in a letter to his wife.

Pierotti, who reached an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit filed against him by Retrophin, said Shkreli contacted his children on Facebook and accused their father of betraying him and stealing $3 million from him.

None of which is that surprising if you’ve taken a look at Shkreli’s Twitter page over the last 48 hours.

[Washington Post]