According to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli sent an army of lobbyists and lawyers to Washington instead of rolling back his 5000% price increase on a lifesaving drug.
In a statement Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) blasted the CEO for breaking his promise to roll back his price gouging:
Two months ago, former hedge fund manager and Turing CEO Martin Shkreli purchased Daraprim—a drug taken by cancer and AIDS patients—and increased the price 5,000 percent overnight, to $750 per pill.
After we sent a letter condemning his blatant profiteering, Mr. Shkreli promised the American people that he would lower the price of this drug. However, instead of lowering the price as he promised, Mr. Shkreli hired an army of new Washington lobbyists and lawyers to stem the massive fallout from his actions and to stymie congressional oversight.
On behalf of the American people, we are sickened by these actions. Mr. Shkreli is holding hostage the patients who rely on this lifesaving medication, as well as the hospitals that administer it, by charging unconscionable prices for a drug on which he has a monopoly—just because he can.
Shkreli made an empty promise publicly to lower the price while privately deploying lobbyists and lawyer to make sure that Congress does not investigate his business practices. The media forgot about the story as soon as the promise was made that the price would be lowered.
The reality is that it is going to take dedicated oversight from leaders like Sen. Sanders and Rep. Cummings to make sure that Shkreli follows through and lowers the price. The behavior of Turing Pharmaceuticals is a perfect example of why the Big Pharma monopoly must be broken.
The Affordable Care Act was a big step forward for healthcare in the United States, but Americans continue to die because they can’t afford the medications that they need. Big Pharma is ruled by greed. They will never do what is right, which is liberals like Sanders and Cummings must keep fighting because this really is a matter of life and death.