Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli Calls Fraud Accusations ‘Baseless’ in Tweet

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

High School Students Want To Return Martin Shkreli’s Dirty Money Donation.

There is ample evidence that drug prices have been pushed to astronomical heights for no reason other than the desire of drug makers to maximize profits.French President Francois Hollande’s popularity declined in December while Prime Minister Manuel Valls’s ratings remained stable, according to a BVA survey for Orange and I-tele released Saturday.“Martin Shkreli, from the Class of 2001, donates $1,000,000 to HCHS!” read an alumni association website for Hunter College High School a year ago.Amid public outrage and ridicule over drastically hiking the price of a life-saving drug earlier this year, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli tweeted that he gave “millions” to charity.

America’s most notorious pharma exec spent the day after his securities fraud arrest playing online chess, scrolling through women’s dating profiles and chatting with supporters. Prices in many cases far exceed what’s needed to cover the costs of research and clinical trials, and some companies have found ways to rake in profits even without shouldering the cost of drug development. Hollande’s approval rating fell to 30 percent from 33 percent in November just after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, according to the survey. Now with heightened focus on Martin Shkreli because of criminal securities fraud charges and questions about his finances, one of those charities said it is returning the money. Clad in a purple PBS T-shirt and a pair of pajama bottoms, Martin Shkreli hosted a marathon live stream via his YouTube channel Friday night, hours after he stepped down as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the drug company infamous for its pill price gouging.

The two worst offenders are bottom feeders that simply buy companies they believe have underpriced their drugs and then quickly raise prices to astronomical levels. Students say that Shkreli, who dropped out of the high school to attend another alternative school when his grades plummeted, donated to the school as a way to show how successful he’d become (mainly by jacking up prices for life-saving medications). The measures targeted the Environmental Protection Agency rule limiting emissions from new power plants and a second standard that covers existing facilities. Another great detail from the Times piece is that after leaving for another high school, Shkreli “would come back to Hunter frequently in a suit and in a briefcase, hanging out in the hallways and sort of showing off.” Hunter has yet to respond, and in all likelihood, won’t be giving back the $1 million that the drug-racketeering child-man so generously bequeathed.

Federal prosecutors claim he ran two of his former companies — a biotech firm and a hedge fund —like a Ponzi scheme, looting one to pay off debts from the other. “I can’t really talk about business or anything. It also protected its high-priced dermatology drugs by urging doctors to send prescriptions to a mail-order pharmacy that would make sure no cheaper alternative was substituted. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade group, described Turing and Valeant as essentially investment vehicles “masquerading as pharmaceutical companies.” Yet even some mainstream companies have set high prices that seem hard to justify. Shkreli — who previously refused to play it for the public, saying Taylor Swift could listen to it in exchange for sexual favors — played an R.E.M album instead. Eli Lilly said its new lung cancer drug, Portrazza, would cost about $11,430 a month in the United States, six times the $1,870 price that leading oncologists said in a recent journal article would be a fair reflection of the benefit the drug offers compared with older therapies.

Similarly, Pfizer set the list price for Ibrance, a drug to treat a form of advanced breast cancer, at $9,850 a month, a price that remains high even after the 20 percent discount demanded by insurers. In October, a Hunter alumna created a page on the website to raise money and “foster a discussion with the school.” No one from Hunter could be reached for comment on Friday. Margaret Soltan, a George Washington University professor who gave Hunter $75 through Crowdrise on Friday, said schools should stand up to people who behave badly by returning their money. Federal prosecutors charged Shkreli, 32, with running a Ponzi-like scheme at his former hedge fund and a pharmaceutical company he previously headed, using money from new investors to try to repay investors whose money he lost. Experts have proposed several ways to reduce drug prices, like fostering greater competition among drug companies or allowing the government to negotiate lower prices.

Encouraging the development of innovative drugs and setting prices in ways that make lifesaving medicines affordable to all are not mutually exclusive ideas. Shkreli told the New York Times before his arrest that he had given away more than $3 million, and he has used philanthropy to rebut people who call him selfish. “Greed?

I give millions to charity,” Shkreli wrote on Twitter in October. “When it’s so clear, like this, I think our position is that the right thing to do is obviously just to give that money back.

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