Martin Shkreli, CEO Who Raised Price of Life-Saving Drug 5,500 Percent, Calls Reps 'Imbeciles' After Congressional Hearing
Shkreli hiked the price of a Deraprim from $13.50 to $750
brightcove.createExperiences(); Shkreli, who is being charged criminally on securities and wire fraud charges, repeatedly invoked his fifth amendment right against self-incrimination as lawmakers castigated him for his decision to raise the price of Daraprim 5,500 percent.
When Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, charman of the committee, asked him what he would say to a single, pregnant woman who might have AIDS and needed Daraprim to survive, Shkreli, who appeared under subpoena said, “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and decline to answer that question.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings told Shkreli he is “in a unique position. Rightly or wrongly, you are viewed as the so-called “bad boy” of pharma. You have a spotlight, and you have a platform. You could use that attention to come clean, to right your wrongs, and to become one of the most effective patient advocates in the country, and one that can make big a difference in so many peoples’ lives.”
Shkreli appeared to be smiling and smirking at different points in the proceedings, including during Cummings’s remarks.
Cummings added, “I know you’re smiling, but I’m very serious, sir.”
After the hearing, Shkreli he tweeted: “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”
He retweeted many messages regarding his case, including some supporting him. He also tweeted a Vine video showing him running past photographers on a way to a vehicle, with the caption: “Check out my slick escape from the photographers into my armored SUV. #smooth”
Federal officials allege Shkreli, 32, “engaged in multiple schemes” at a hedge fund and pharmaceutical company he ran.
“His plots were matched only by efforts to conceal the fraud, which led him to operate his companies, including a publicly traded company, as a Ponzi scheme,” the FBI said in a statement.
Shkreli has pleaded not guilty and is free on $5 million bail. He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
At a press conference after the hearing, Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said, “When all of the facts about Daraprim and Turing are ultimately disclosed, I think everyone will recognize that Mr. Shkreli is not a villain. He’s not the bad boy. I think at the end of this story that he is a hero.”