It turns out former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli didn’t just want to turn a profit from the life-saving drug Daraprim — He wanted to turn it into a billion dollar seller.
Following the acquisition of the drug he sent a letter to the chairman of the company’s board in which he wrote, “Very good… Nice work as usual. $1bn here we come.”
That’s according to congressional investigators, who have obtained 25,000 pages of documents from Turing.
As CEO of Turing, Shkreli hiked the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 overnight. That decision earned him the title of the most hated man in America.
According to the Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, his aim was to exploit a monopoly that already existed and make millions from it before any competitors could enter the market.
“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,” Shkreli wrote in August.
In the meantime, Shkreli was indicted in December on federal securities fraud and conspiracy charges after he and a co-conspirator allegedly cheated another company, Retrophin, out of millions of dollars.
Turing for the most part has stood behind its decision to hike the price of the drug by 5000%. It says it was attempting to “balance patient access to our existing drugs with investment in research and value generation for our shareholders.”
The House committee has subpoenaed Shkreli, but he has said he will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights.