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January 20, 2022

Around the nation: 'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli ordered to repay $64.6 million in excess profits

Daily Briefing

    Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, has been banned from the drug industry for life and ordered to repay $64.6 million in excess profits from Daraprim sales, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, New York, and Massachusetts.

    • California: Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences in a lawsuit released on Tuesday alleged that a ring of suppliers distributed 85,000 counterfeit bottles of HIV medication to pharmacies throughout the past two years. In the lawsuit, Gilead sued dozens of marketers, suppliers, and distributors for violating trademark laws and participating in a racketeering conspiracy, among other accusations. "After becoming aware of counterfeit Gilead HIV medication being distributed we notified federal law enforcement authorities, including the FDA, as well as dispensing pharmacies, and then took direct and urgent legal action to halt counterfeit Gilead HIV medication from reaching patients," said Lori Mayall, Gilead's head of anti-counterfeiting and brand protection. "The health and safety of individuals who rely on our life-saving medications is our first priority." (Chen, Axios, 1/18)
    • New York: The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday ruled that Martin Shkreli, founder and former CEO of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, violated state and federal antitrust laws when they raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet in 2015. In her ruling, Judge Denise Cote said that Shkreli had tried to maintain a monopoly over the drug by using anticompetitive tactics, the New York Times reports. The court's opinion dubbed Shkreli's "anticompetitive conduct at the expense of the public health" as "flagrant and reckless." In the face of public scrutiny, Shkreli's dismissive attitude earned him the nickname "pharma bro." Shkreli has been banned from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered to pay $64.6 million in excess profits from Daraprim sales. (Robbins/Kang, New York Times, 1/14)
    • Massachusetts: Saint Vincent Hospital announced the addition of two new members of its senior leadership team. During fall 2021, Paul Smith was appointed COO of Saint Vincent and Tenet Healthcare's Massachusetts market. Smith most recently served as COO of St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston. In addition, Saint Vincent on Monday announced that Jay Prosser would take over as its chief nursing officer after serving in an interim capacity since November 2021. Prosser previously served as Brookwood Baptist Health's associate chief nursing officer. (Jensik, Becker's Hospital Review, 1/18)

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