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"Pharma Bro" Back in Hot Water: FTC, New York Attorney General Sue Vyera Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli for Allegedly Monopolizing Critical Medication and Raising Its Price by 4000%

 

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and New York AG Letitia James jointly sued pharmaceutical manufacturer Vyera Pharmaceuticals LLC and its former executive, Martin Shkreli, along with two other related defendants (collectively, “Vyera”) for allegedly stifling competition and engaging in a monopolistic pricing scheme for a life-saving medication in violation of the FTC Act, the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and New York’s antitrust laws.
  • The complaint alleges that once Vyera had acquired the rights to Daraprim—the gold-standard treatment for toxoplasmosis, a condition that can lead to deadly infections in people with suppressed immune systems like HIV/AIDS patients—it increased the price from $17.50 to $750 per pill; and restrained competition through restrictive distribution agreements, preventing competitors from accessing critical ingredients necessary to formulate Daraprim, and engaging in “data blocking” practices that prevented distributors from sharing their sales data with third-party reporting companies.
  • The complaint seeks, among other things, declaratory injunctive and monetary relief, civil penalties, and attorney’s fees and costs. It also seeks a permanent injunction against Shkreli, who is currently in federal prison following a conviction for securities fraud, that would bar him from owning or working for any company in the pharmaceutical industry.