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‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli banned for life from pharma industry

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Martin Shkreli, the convicted “Pharma Bro” who was brought down by a 2015 drug-pricing scandal, was ordered to pay $64 million in damages for monopolizing the market for a life-saving drug.

Shkreli, the former chief executive officer of Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC, was also banned for life from the pharmaceutical industry in the antitrust ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who filed the suit with six other states and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, said in a statement that Shkreli was motivated by “envy” and “greed” when he decided to “illegally jack up the price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives hung in the balance.”

Shkreli is already serving a seven-year sentence for securities fraud committed while running two hedge funds, though the same drug – Daraprim – is at the center of both cases.

Vyera, then known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, was launched by Shkreli in 2015. That’s when he acquired Daraprim, a once-affordable anti-infective used to treat a sometimes-deadly parasitic infection, from the only existing supplier. Shkreli then raised the price from $17.50 to $750 per tablet.

Cote found that Shkreli made illegal agreements with generic drug makers to delay introduction of cheaper versions of the drug after he jacked up the price.