Martin Shkreli’s Company Memos Confirm He’s a Human Garbage Monster

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Martin Shkreli, CEO Reviled for Drug Price Gouging, Arrested on Securities Fraud Charges
The grey courthouse hoodie is not his best look.Photo: Peter Foley/© 2015 Bloomberg Finance LP

A lot of empirical evidence suggests that Martin Shkreli, who was arrested and released on a $5 million bond last month, is not a good person. For one thing, while he was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he bought an off-patent drug and jacked up the price more than 5,000 percent. For another, he threatened to destroy a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album. But if there was any doubt about Shkreli’s putrid core, the snippets of his email exchanges released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform lay it to rest. They contain damning evidence — as if his Twitter account weren’t clear enough — that Shkreli raised prices for the sole purpose of making lots and lots of money.

He wasn’t exactly subtle about it. In an email to Turing’s chairman regarding the company’s progress in purchasing the drug Daraprim, which is used to treat HIV and had been on the market for decades, he wrote, “Very good. Nice work as usual. $1bn here we come.” In another, sent August 27, he wrote, “I think it will be huge. We raised the price from $1,700 per bottle to $75,000 … So 5,000 paying bottles at the new price is $375,000,000 — almost all of it is profit and I think we will get 3 years of that or more. Should be a very handsome investment for all of us. Let’s all cross our fingers that the estimates are accurate.” 

According to the New York Times, the memo contains excerpts from more than 250,000 pages of email and documents. Based on these, the committee was able to determine that Shkreli purchased Daraprim "for the purpose of increasing its price drastically and making hundreds of millions of dollars" before a competing drug emerged. It also found that, instead of lowering drug prices when faced with backlash, Shkreli attempted to "distract public attention" by focusing on "patient assistance programs and research and development efforts." The House committee subpoenaed Shkreli to appear as a witness in the investigation, but he’s said he’ll invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions — that is, if Ghostface Killah doesn’t have him taken out first.