‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli regrets nothing: AIDS drug was ‘woefully underpriced’ before
In an interview with the Financial Times, former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO and global poster child for prescription drug price-gauging Martin Shkreli said that he regrets nothing about his decision to raise the per-pill cost of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750.
The Guardian reported Friday that Shkreli maintains that Daraprim — which is used to treat the blood disease toxoplasmosis in AIDS and cancer patients — was “woefully underpriced” before his firm jacked up the cost.
“To me the drug was woefully underpriced,” he said. “It is not a question of ‘Is this fair?’ or ‘What did you pay for it?’ or ‘When was it invented?’ It should be more expensive in many ways.”
The 32-year-old hedge funder and entrepreneur then tried to style himself as a martyr to the whims of his companies’ shareholders.
“My whole life has been one theme, of self-sacrifice for my investors,” he said. “I did it for my shareholders’ benefit because that’s my job. The political risk is being shamed, and shame isn’t dilutive to earnings per share.”
Earlier this year, he told VICE that his business practices may be unpopular, but they are not unethical.
“Yea, I’m a capitalist, I’d love to make an even bigger fortune then I’ve got now,” he said. “But I’m not gonna do it at the expense of a human life. We sell our drugs for a dollar to the government, but we sell our drugs for $750 a pill to Walmart, to Exxon Mobil, to all these big companies, they pay full price because fuck them, why shouldn’t they? If I take their money to do research for dying kids, I think I’m a hero, let alone evil.”
Shkreli was taken into custody by the FBI on charges of defrauding investors. He posted the $5 million bail and is awaiting trial in June.