Martin Shkreli, a former executive of a drug company who is accused of having ordered an astronomical surge in the price of a life-saving medicine, has been ordered to be excluded from the industry for the rest of his career and is has been barred from participating in the industry for life.
Judge Denise Cote, in a ruling on Friday, said that Shkreli will have to repay $64.6 million in earnings from the strategy of price hike.
Shkreli’s conduct, she found, had broken anti-monopoly rules.
A prison sentence is currently being faced by Shkreli over charges of scamming investors.
However, the latest court ruling is based on his decision in 2015 to boost the price of Daraprim, a long-established and well known and used drug used to treat toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 to $750 in just one day, which marked a nearly 4,000 per cent increase.
Shkreli is also charged with devising supply arrangements to prevent competitors from offering a generic version of the unpatented drug, which is used to treat parasite sickness in pregnant women as well as those suffering from AIDS.
His actions were unpopular which earned him the moniker “Pharma Bro.”
In 2020, seven states in the US and the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against him, alleging that he had engaged in anti-competitive behavior and his action was in violation of state and federal laws.
Shkreli was dubbed the “primary mover” in the scam by US District Judge Cote.
“It was his brainchild and he drove it each step of the way,” she wrote.
Shkreli’s company, Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which was formally known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, had already agreed to pay a fine of $40 million.
One of the authorities who launched the complaint, New York Attorney General Letitia James, applauded the ruling.
Shkreli and his accomplice, James claimed, had inflated the “price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives hung in the balance” in an illegal manner.
“But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is a Pharma Bro no more.”
(Adapted from CBSNews.com)