It could be poetic justice for many if Martin Shkreli ends up going to prison, at least for people living with HIV and cancer.
Shkreli angered people on a massive scale two years ago when he jacked up the price of Daraprim, which treats both conditions, from $13.50 per pill to $750. It earned him the reputation of being of “morally bankrupt sociopath” and reminded us just how much the country as a collective hates the pharmaceutical industry. In my opinion, he makes street drug dealers seem compassionate by comparison.
The former pharmaceutical executive was unapologetic for the longest time about jacking up the price more than 55 times its original cost, putting the cost of treatment out of reach. Shkreli claimed Daraprim was a low-selling product, and that the hike was the only way to make a profit. By that logic, Nintendo should increase the price of its new Switch console to $10,000. Ka-ching!
If Shkreli had ever dealt with cancer, he would know that treatment bankrupts many families, even those with health insurance. Further victimizing these patients should have been a crime, but there’s no stigma to jacking up drug prices in America. If there was, Shkreli would already be donning stripes and dining on bologna.
That’s why it’s absolutely delicious that he’s now on trial for fraud. It’s also ironic that the fraud charges stem from another drug company he’d been involved with, as well as a hedge fund. He allegedly cheated investors out of $11 million.
Martin Shkreli committing fraud? The Florence Nightingale of the health care industry? I’m shocked.
The big problem with the scumbags of the world is that they don’t limit themselves to one type of predatory behavior. Someone who could maintain a crooked grin as he justifies keeping a potentially life-saving drug out of reach of everyone except the filthy rich couldn’t be satisfied with just hosing the poor and needy. What better way to make yourself rich than to get your hands on other people’s money?
Jury selection is underway, but apparently there is some difficulty finding jurors who could be impartial in a trial where the defendant once held the title of “the most hated man in America.” According to Good Morning America, more than 200 potential jurors were dismissed, many of them admitting they couldn’t keep an open mind where Shkreli was concerned.
I can’t imagine why. He looks like such a nice boy.
One juror, according to the Washington Post, told the judge presiding over the case that she considered Shkreli to be “the price gouger of drugs. My kids are on some of these drugs.”
Shkreli’s attorney tried to get a mistrial declared, claiming there was no way his client could get a fair trial with so many people hating him. I don’t believe that. I’m sure there are people out there who have never heard of Martin Shkreli. Have the courts checked the Amish communities?
It might take a little longer than expected, but I think the American people might get the satisfaction they’ve been hoping for. He might not get his comeuppance specifically for an obscene drug price hike, but it seems like he will end up behind bars.
As long as he pays for being a jerk, do we really care under what circumstances the bill comes due?