SACRAMENTO (Calif.) SACRAMENTO (Calif.) The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday that a company that was once owned by “Pharma Bro.” Martin Shkreli will pay $40 million to resolve claims that it increased the price of a life-saving medication by around 4000%. This was after getting exclusive rights to the drug.
The FTC announced that Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC and its parent company, Phoenixus AG, agreed to settle claims that it cheated buyers and had monopolized sales of Daraprim which is used to treat toxoplasmosis an infection that can be deadly for people with HIV or other immune system issues and can cause serious issues for babies born to mothers infected while pregnant.
Vyera boosted the cost of the decades-old drug from $17.50 to $750 after securing exclusive rights to it in the year 2015.
“Should be a very handsome investment for all of us,” Shkreli put it in an email to an individual at the time.
Some patients were left with copays up to $16,000. This increased the visibility of Congress and sparked congressional hearings.
The FTC and seven other states filed a lawsuit against the company in New York federal court.
Vyera is accused of raising the cost of Daraprim and created “a web anticompetitive restraints” to prevent other companies from developing cheaper generic versions. This included blocking access to a key ingredient in the drug as well as data that companies would need to determine the drug’s future market.
Vyera did not respond to an email after-hours requesting to comment. After the lawsuit was filed last year, the company claimed its claims meritless and denied that its actions prevented competitors from being froze.
Vyera and Phoenixus are required to pay up to $40 million over 10 years to those who were scammed by their actions. They also have to make Daraprim available to generic competitor at the expense of producing the drug.
Former Vyera CEO Kevin Mulleady agreed to pay $250,000 if he broke the settlement, which in general prohibits him from “working for consulting, working for or directing an pharmaceutical company” for seven years, according to an FTC statement.
The settlement will not end the litigation against Shkreli. He was known as the “Pharma Bro” because he was alleged to have orchestrated the scheme as Vyera’s first CEO. The lawsuit filed against Shkreli by the FTC and the states is scheduled for trial next week.
Shkreli currently serving seven years in prison for an indictment of securities fraud relating to hedge funds he supervised before he entered the pharmaceuticals industry.
Content Source: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/964387?src=rss