Martin Skhreli mocks Congressional subpoena

Martin Skhreli, the hedge fund manager turned pharma executive who is infamous for raising a drug’s price 5000 percent overnight, is now refusing to cooperate with two Congressional inquiries into drug prices.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Skhreli invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to provide documents related to pricing subpoenaed by the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The committee has been investigating four companies with recent massive price hikes on older drugs: Turing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Retrophin, and Rodelis Therapeutics. Retrophin reportedly raised the price of Thiola, a kidney drug, from $1.50 to $30 per tablet while Rodelis jacked the price of a tuberculosis drug more than 2,000 percent.

The committee, led by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO), sent letters late last year to the companies requesting information about why they raised the drug’s prices. When the companies didn’t cooperate, they sent subpoenas for documents about pricing data.

Skhreli has been subpoenaed to testify at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on February 4. The hearing will examine drug pricing and the FDA’s Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) backlog. In keeping with his narcissistic pattern of behavior, Skhreli’s already been mocking the process and hinting on Twitter that he may or may not show up at the hearing.

“I have been trying for the better part of a year to get information from Martin Shkreli about his outrageous price increases, and he has obstructed our investigation at every turn,” said Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the oversight committee. “He claims publicly that he wants to explain to Congress how drug pricing works. On Tuesday, he will get his chance.”

Skhreli appeared in court January 20 on unrelated federal securities fraud charges. He is alleged to have illegally used Retrophin stocks to repay investors from his failing hedge fund. He maintains his innocence, recently fired his entire legal team, and is currently is out on $5 million bond.

Despite his egregious and arrogant actions, the spectacle Skhreli has created—and continues to encourage—around drug prices may ultimately be just what Congress needs to spur some action on this issue.

Hearing Information

The hearing will be livestreamed from the House Oversight website. Skhreli is expected to appear (he’ll face contempt charges if he doesn’t) but he’s likely to plead the Fifth so that he doesn’t have to answer potentially incriminating questions.

Full House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
“Developments in the Prescription Drug Market: Oversight”
February 4 – 9:00 am
2154 Rayburn House Office Building
Witness list: Martin Shkreli of Turing, Nancy Retzlaff of Turing, Howard Shiller from Valeant, Mark Merritt from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, and Dr. Janet Woodcock from the FDA.

Updated 1/25

7 Comments On “Martin Skhreli mocks Congressional subpoena”

  1. It appears that Martin Shkreli is just another piece of bovine scatology. What a jerk!

  2. Why doesn’t congress investigate all drug companies drug pricing and habit of buying or paying competitors to cease production of competitive drugs ? Could it be that congress is on big Pharma’s payroll ?????????? People should check to see who the organizations are that contribute to politicians and who they represent. The Shkreli hearing is just a smokescreen by congress to not address the big boys.

  3. Sounds like Shkreli would make a terrific running mate for Donald Trump. BTW, I have great respect for Sen. Claire McCaskill, but she is NOT from Michigan.

  4. It used to be if you didn’t appear, they sent out a warrant for your arrest and you spent some time at the bottom of a black hole until you did, He can invoke the 5th all he wants, but the current administration has made a mockery over their refusals to co-operate with subpoenas (as in even showing up, or sending the clueless subordinate). The committees need a bit of bite to their bark and a new “black hole” to put the uncooperative.

  5. if he’s so innocent, why is he afraid to prove it?

  6. He does seem to enjoy controversy. Thanks for pointing out the typo, we’ve corrected it!

  7. Good question. Pay for delay is an issue that has been taken up by a few congresspeople (Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced a bill last year on the issue) but legislation to prevent it has a hard time moving forward. You’re right, it’s important to know who contributes to politicians! This is a great website for that: http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/summary.php?cycle=2016&ind=h04

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