FTC, California Settle with “Pharma Bro” Shkreli for $40M

On Tuesday, the Attorney General Rob Bonta of California announced a $40 Million dollar settlement against Martin Shkreli’s company Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC.

Martin Shkreli, referred to in the release by his moniker “Pharma Bro ,” along with his associate Kevin Mulleady were accused of raising the price of the drug Daraprim over 4000 percent by creating unnecessary restrictions and making it harder for other businesses from competing with them. 

The price of the drug per tablet skyrocketed from “$17.50 to $750 per tablet”, which created a difficult situation in which hospitals and doctors were rationing the usage of the drug.

In the press release Bonta’s office details that some of the settlement’s terms are that Vyera and its Parent company Phoenixus, will pay up to $40 million dollars “representing the profits from the companies wrongful conduct.”

Along with the amount being paid out Mulleady will be barred from being able to work in the pharmaceutical industry for 7 years with some exceptions. If he is found to have broken the settlement he will be subjected to pay $250,000.

This settlement come after various states along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) banded together to sue Phoenixus and Verya claiming that they were creating a monopoly in the market and profiteering from a drug that was readily available only a few years before. 

FTC Chair Lina M. Kahan described this as “Martin Shkreli masterminded an elaborate plan to dramatically jack up the price of life-saving drug Daraprim by blocking cheaper options”

Daraprim is known as the best treatment for toxoplasmosis. This infection is most dangerous for people with immunodeficiencies ,such as HIV patients and newborn babies with mothers who had the infection at birth.

Currently, Shkreli is detained in prison and litigation against him continues as he waits for his trial on December 14.