A PYMNTS Company

California Joins Antitrust Suit Against Shkreli

 |  April 15, 2020

Six more state attorneys general on Tuesday, April 14, joined a suit launched by New York state and the Federal Trade Commission accusing incarcerated “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli and his company Vyera Pharmaceuticals of monopolizing the market for a drug used to treat potentially fatal parasitic infections.

The attorneys general of California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia added their heft to the suit against Shkreli, Vyera — formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals — Vyera parent Phoenixus AG, and Kevin Mulleady, a close Shkreli associate and Phoenixus board chairman who was previously CEO of Vyera, claiming they schemed to block lower-cost generic competition to Daraprim, a drug used by immunocompromised people, such as people with HIV or cancer, or who have received organ transplants.

Shkreli incited public outrage in 2015 when he raised the price of Daraprim by more than 4,000%. “Martin Shkreli and Vyera Pharmaceuticals put lives on the line simply to pad their own pockets by price gouging a life-saving medication. Following this egregious act, they illegally monopolized the prescription drug — withholding it from patients and competitors in the market to keep their profits up,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “We’re joining this lawsuit to hold Vyera accountable for manipulating the market and to bar Martin Shkreli from ever working in the pharmaceutical industry again.”