Former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli is being sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York state’s attorney general over allegations that he and his former company took monopolistic steps to block generic anti-parasitical medications.
Reuters reported that Shkreli and his former company, now called Vyera Pharmaceuticals, were named in the lawsuit over the massive increase in Daraprim’s price, for which Shkreli earned the popular nickname “pharma bro” prior to his 2017 conviction for securities fraud.
The lawsuit accuses Shkreli and Vyera of buying the rights to Daraprim, significantly raising the price of the life-saving medication, and simultaneously taking action to prevent competitive medicines from being approved for sale in the United States.
“We filed this lawsuit to stop Vyera’s egregious conduct, make the company pay for its illegal scheming, and block Martin Shkreli from ever working in the pharmaceutical industry again,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said on Monday.
“Martin Shkreli and Vyera not only enriched themselves by despicably jacking up the price of this life-saving medication by 4,000 percent in a single day, but held this critical drug hostage from patients and competitors as they illegally sought to maintain their monopoly,” she added.
Shkreli is currently imprisoned with an expected release date in 2023. His attorney did not return a request for comment from Reuters. Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which is not run by Shkreli, told Reuters that the allegations “are without merit and will vigorously defend these claims in court.”