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Federal Judge Denies Shkreli’s Motion To Dismiss FTC Monopoly Claims

 |  August 19, 2020

“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli filed motions in May to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) claims that his company Vyera Pharmaceuticals boxed out competition and created a monopoly for the toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim after raising prices by 4,000% overnight. But on Tuesday, August 18, a federal judge said not so fast.

Judge Denise Cote denied all but one request for dismissal. The suit was filed in January by the Federal Trade Commission, New York, and other states, which claimed that Shkreli and co-defendant Kevin Mulleady participated in “an unlawful scheme” to hinder generic competition and “preserve a monopoly,” which they allegedly kept going even while Shkreli was in prison, according to court documents.

Shkreli and Mulleady launched Vyera in 2014, then known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, and snagged US rights to Daraprim for US$55 million the following year. Overnight, the company raised Daraprim’s price from US$17.50 to US$750 per tablet. The move was a familiar one for Shkreli, whose company Retrophin acquired the rights to Thiola in 2014, then raised its price by 2,000%, according to the FTC complaint.

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