Martin Shkreli Aimed To Make $1 Billion In Raising The Price Of Life-Saving AIDS Drug
Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, has been under fire since his company became the prize holders of the drug, Daraprim. The drug helps HIV patients deal with side effects and symptoms.
When Shkreli headed the pharmaceutical company, he raised the price of the drug to $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill, a 5,000% increase. Shkreli saw an opportunity to make millions of dollars by increasing the price of the drug before any other competing companies could cash in on the profit first.
On Tuesday, the Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released 25,000 pages of documents between Shkreli and his associates. In those documents, Shkreli wrote, “Very good, Nice work as usual. $1bn here we come,” to the chairman of the company’s board.
Before Shkreli obtained the drug, a memo was sent to the former CEO alleging that the drug was “affordable, readily available, and very effective” for HIV patients. After he bought the rights for a reported $55 million and increased the price, it caused a strain not only on the patients but on the hospitals as well.
In one email from August 27, 2015, Shkreli explained to different companies how much money was to be made: “I think it will be huge. We raised the price from $1,700 per bottle to $75,000…So 5,000 paying bottles at the new price is $375,000,000—almost all of it is profit and I think we will get 3 years of that or more. Should be a very handsome investment for all of us. Let’s all cross our fingers that the estimates are accurate.”
Not only is Shkreli causing chaos in the medical world, he is also stirring up drama with Ghostface Killah, member of the famous rap band, Wu-Tang Clan.
The former CEO was also indicted in December on charges for federal security fraud but is currently out on bail. His indictment was scheduled for Jan. 26 but due to a snowstorm, it was postponed. It is rumored that when Shkreli is officially indicted he will invoke his Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.