Judge Nixes Martin Shkreli's Objections to Big Pharma Ban
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Federal Judge Formally Enters Erstwhile ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s Lifetime Ban from the Drug Industry, Overruling His Objections

 
Martin Shkreli Convicted Of Three Counts Of Securities Fraud

Ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli speaks to the press in front of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York with members of his legal team on Aug. 4, 2017.

A federal judge formally entered erstwhile “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s lifetime ban from the pharmaceutical industry on Friday, overruling his objections to its scope.

“Having considered the injunction proposed by the plaintiffs and Shkreli’s objections, an injunction and final judgment has been issued today,” U.S. District Judge Denise Cote wrote in a 10-page opinion and order.

Three weeks ago, Judge Cote ruled that she would issue such an injunction based on what she described as Shkreli’s “egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous illegal conduct” in hiking the prices of the life-saving drug Daraprim by 40-fold.

“Without a lifetime ban, there is a real danger that Shkreli will engage in anticompetitive conduct within the pharmaceutical industry again,” Cote’s separate opinion from Jan. 14 stated. “Shkreli established two companies, Retrophin and Vyera, with the same anticompetitive business model: Acquiring sole-source drugs for rare diseases so that he could profit from a monopolist scheme on the backs of a dependent population of pharmaceutical distributors, healthcare providers, and the patients who needed the drugs.”

The Federal Trade Commission and various state attorneys general sued Shkreli over the Daraprim scheme. That civil litigation took place during a significant part of Shkreli’s incarceration pursuant to a seven-year sentence for defrauding investors in Retrophin. He is slated to be released from a federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, later this year on Nov. 7.

Today’s rulings ensure that he will not return to the industry that earned him national notoriety following his release.

Outlined in a separate document filed on Friday, the injunction itself spans nine pages and is breathtaking in scope. It begins:

“IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant Shkreli is hereby banned and enjoined for life from directly or indirectly participating in any manner in the pharmaceutical industry, including by:

A. Participating in or directing the research, Development, manufacture, commercialization, distribution, marketing, importation, or sale of a Drug Product or API, whether through compensated or uncompensated employment, consulting, advising, board membership, or otherwise;

B. Participating in the formulation, determination, or direction of any business decisions of any Pharmaceutical Company;

C. Acquiring or holding an Ownership Interest in a Pharmaceutical Company (other than indirectly through a mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, or other diversified, investment vehicle that is not specifically focused on Pharmaceutical Companies) [ . . . ]

D. Taking any action to directly or indirectly influence or control the management or business of any Pharmaceutical Company; Shkreli’s public statements about a Pharmaceutical Company will be deemed an action taken to influence or control the management or business of any Pharmaceutical Company if Shkreli intended the statement to have that effect or if a reasonable person would conclude that the statement has that effect.”

The clause barring Shkreli from holding an ownership interest in a pharmaceutical company contains an exception for those under the control of a receiver in his litigation with Dr. Thomas Koestler, who sued Shkreli for $2.6 million for failing to pay him for consulting services.

Read the injunction below:

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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Law&Crime's managing editor Adam Klasfeld has spent more than a decade on the legal beat. Previously a reporter for Courthouse News, he has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, PBS, Sky News, and other networks.