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Congress Subpoenas Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli has been subpoenaed by Congress.

The 32-year-old former hedge-fund manager has been ordered to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, during a hearing about prescription drug pricing. The hearing is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, January 26th. The subpoena was confirmed by committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) spokeswoman MJ Henshaw. In addition to Shkreli, Nancy Retzlaff, Chief Commercial Officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, and Howard Schiller, interim CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, are also scheduled to appear before the committee.

Shkreli addressed the subpoena in two posts on Twitter on Wednesday. In his first comment, Shkreli indicated he was contemplating whether to attend the hearing, tweeting, “House busy whining to healthcare reporters about me appearing for their chit chat next week. Haven’t decided yet. Should I?” Later, he posted a picture of the subpoena with a comment that read, “Found this letter. Looks important.”

 

 

If he fails to attend the hearing, Congress could hold Shkreli in contempt.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In a written statement, Mr. Cummings said of the subpoena, “I have been trying for the better part of a year to get information from Martin Shkreli about his outrageous price increases, and he has obstructed our investigation at every turn…He claims publicly that he wants to explain to Congress how drug pricing works. On Tuesday, he will get his chance.”

Shkreli first entered headlines in 2015 when Turing Pharmaceuticals, a company he co-founded and served as Chief Executive Office of, acquired the manufacturing license for Daraprim, a drug used to treat HIV-positive patients. Turing experienced widespread criticism, as did Shkreli by association when it increased the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Despite the outcry of criticism, Shkreli defended the price increase, saying, “If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that that should be a crime.”

Mr. Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing on December 18, 2015, after being indicted by a grand jury on securities fraud charges. The charges are related to his tenure with MSMB Capital Management and Retrophin Inc., both of which were founded by Shkreli. They are not associated with Turing.

Shkreli was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, however, a letter requesting a two-week delay was filed in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn by his legal team. The request, which was granted, was made so the defendant could replace his lawyers. Shkreli is now scheduled to be in court on February 3.

Written by David Grossman

David Grossman

David Grossman is a Managing Editor of Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

Free thinker, Progressive activist, artist.

Producer of The Benjamin Dixon Show, which airs Monday-Thursday 9pm ET, and The Way with Anoa, which airs Wednesdays at 8pm ET, both on YouTube. Also a co-host on Politics and Grits, Sundays at 10am ET on The Benjamin Dixon Show Spreaker channel.

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