Martin Shkreli has to pay back $ 64.6 million and is banned from the pharmaceutical industry.

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical director best known for brazenly raising the price of an old drug, has been ordered to pay $64.6 million and be banned from the drug industry for life for violating the antitrust law related to that drug. a federal court ordered Friday.

Mr Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence for defrauding investors in connection with his work running two hedge funds. That belief is separate from the drug pricing saga that has elevated him to fame. He is expected to be released later this year.

In 2015, Mr. Shkreli — then a pharmaceutical entrepreneur in his early 30s who wasn’t well known outside his industry — launched a decades-old drug known as Daraprim, used to treat a life-threatening parasitic infection, and raised its price to $750 each. tablet, up $13.50. The incident alarmed politicians and the public, who were already concerned about rising drug prices and the role drug companies could play in making drugs unaffordable.

Most pharmaceutical executives are raising drug prices more quietly and gradually, and with reassurances about ensuring patient access, but Mr. Shkreli seemed to show no remorse. He became known as “pharma bro” for his brash attitude as he faced criticism from lawmakers and others over drug price hikes.

On Friday, Judge Denise L. Cote of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Mr. Shkreli was trying to maintain a monopoly on Daraprim through anticompetitive tactics. The lawsuit was filed by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of seven states, including New York.

The judge ruled that Mr. Shkreli violated state and federal antitrust laws and that his former company, now known as Vyera Pharmaceuticals, took $64.6 million in additional profits from the sale of Daraprim from that conduct.

The court ruled that Vyera, under the control of Mr. Shkreli, changed the way the drug was distributed and hindered competition in the generic market. As a result, consumers were hurt by higher prices and fewer options for the drug, “forcing many patients and physicians to make difficult and risky decisions for the treatment of life-threatening diseases,” the New York Attorney General’s office said in a press release. . .

Lawyers for Mr Shkreli did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

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