‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli released from prison early

Big Pharma bro Martin Shkreli, most well-known for raising the price of an AIDS medication by more than 4,000 percent, was released from prison Wednesday after serving only a portion of his sentence.

Shkreli was released from federal prison and into a halfway house, less than five years into a seven-year sentence. Shkreli was convicted in 2017 for defrauding investors in several of his hedge funds.

Shkreli earned widespread notoriety in In 2015, when he as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, abruptly jacked up the price of anti-parasitic drug Daraprim by more than 4,000 percent—raising the list price from $17.50 to $750 per tablet—after they bought the rights to the drug and created a “web of anticompetitive restrictions to box out the competition.”

The pharmaceutical company once owned by Shkreli was ordered to pay up to $40 million in a settlement that ended his infamous price-gouging scheme.

The Federal Trade Commission and its state co-plaintiffs—New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—filed a settlement order this week that will require Vyera Pharmaceuticals (formerly Turing) and its parent company Phoenixus to make Daraprim available to any generic competitor for the cost of making the drug. The companies are also barred from engaging in any scheme resembling the one surrounding Daraprim for 10 years.

“These corporate elites cheat millions of Americans, for whom access to the medication they need isn’t elective because they know that it’s a matter of survival,” said New Jersey Democrat Lisa McCormick. “That’s why the massive corporations they control have raised prices for everything from insulin to treat diabetes to Daraprim to prevent malaria.”

“While their profits skyrocketed, ordinary Americans are forced to ration the life-saving drugs they need to survive,” said McCormick. “People are dying but corrupt politicians keep trying to tell us it’s normal.”

McCormick said an army of lobbyists spend millions of dollars in corporate PAC contributions, so politicians and bureaucrats in Washington who are supposed to protect the public have instead been “protecting corrupt Wall Street shills like Martin Shkreli.”

McCormick said citizens should not accept a status quo that lets these dangerous elites profit from killing Americans.

McCormick said it is time to break up pharmaceutical companies that exhibit overwhelming greed.

The progressive activist said she is working as part of a team that is building a grassroots movement to fundamentally change who has power in our country — starting with taking the White House, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives back for ordinary people.

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