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Martin Shkreli banned for life from pharmaceutical activities

Disgraced pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkreli, derided as the “Pharma Bro”, has been banned from doing business in the pharmaceutical sector again, a judge ordered on Friday.

Shkreli was also ordered to pay $64.6 million in profits he made raising the price of the drug Daraprim, US District Court Judge Denise Cote in New York said.

The court order is tied to a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission and several states, including New York and California, which have accused the jailed Shkreli of monopolistic behavior.

“Shkreli is liable for each of the claims presented in this action. An injunction will be issued prohibiting him for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry in any capacity,” Cote wrote in his decision.

“He is ordered to pay the plaintiff states $64.6 million in restitution.”

As CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals – later Vyera – Shkreli inflated the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill, after securing exclusive rights to the decades-old drug in 2015. Daraprim is needed to those who suffer from a rare parasitic disease that strikes AIDS patients, cancer victims, and pregnant women.

‘Envy, greed, lust and hate’ don’t just ‘separate’, but they clearly motivated Mr Shkreli and his partner to illegally raise the price of a life-saving drug as the lives of Americans was at stake,” New York Attorney General James said in a statement.

But Shkreli is best known in pop culture for his sarcastic, unapologetic persona that earned him the nickname “Pharma Bro” and derision from all corners of American life.

He is currently serving time for securities fraud.

“But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is no longer a pharmaceutical brother,” James said. “A federal court not only found his conduct illegal, but also banned this convicted felon from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay nearly $65 million.

A lawyer for Shkreli could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.

Despite a widespread backlash against Shkreli, the pharmaceutical company executive has never backed down from publicity.

In late 2015, Shkreli purchased the sole copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” for $2 million.

But last year, the US government sold the rare album to help pay off its debts. He had been ordered to confiscate $7.3 million in assets after being convicted of securities fraud in 2017 and sentenced to seven years in prison.

These confiscated assets included the “Shaolin” album.

Suzanne Ciechalski and Associated press contributed.

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