Martin Shkreli Won't Cooperate in Federal Investigation

November 7th 2015

Last week, a special Senate committee called on Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli to appear before the Senate to answer questions about his company's drug pricing practices. Rather than cooperate, Shkreli says he won't go to the December 9 hearing unless his lawyers tell him to, Business Insider reported.

RELATED: Martin Shkreli Is at the Center of a New Federal Investigation

"When my lawyers tell me I absolutely have to go, I'll go," he said. "They don't have subpoena power until they've got widespread support. I don't have to go to a hearing unless there's widespread support."

The Senate's Special Committee on Aging received bipartisan support for an investigation into four pharmaceutical companies and sent Shkreli a letter requesting information about Turing's acquisition and pricing of Daraprim, a life-saving drug that treats an infectious disease and is used to help cancer and AIDS patients.

After acquiring Daraprim in September, Turing raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. A New York Times report on the price hike raised questions about drug pricing in the pharmaceutical industry and put Shkreli on the defensive. In response, he recently confirmed that he plans to "modestly lower" the price by December 25.

Shkreli's suggestion that there is not already "widespread support" for an investigation into the Daraprim scandal is questionable. Not only is there bipartisan support for the hearing in the Senate, but the U.S. House of Representatives recently launched an Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force to address concerns about the pharmaceutical industry.

Among 2016 presidential candidates, Shkreli has been condemned for his role in raising the price of Daraprim by members of both parties, including Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, who called Shkreli a "spoiled brat."

RELATED: Martin Shkreli Plans To "Modestly Lower" the Price of Daraprim by Christmas

While Sanders and Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) sent a letter to Shkreli as early as September, requesting information about Turing and Daraprim, efforts to hold the drug company accountable and understand its pricing practices have been largely unsuccessful up to this point.

The letter went unanswered. And while Shkreli has indicated that he won't appear before the Senate's special committee in December unless pressured to do so, Turing did respond to the committee's letter. The company wrote:

"We are reviewing the Committee's request and, as we have and continue to do with similar congressional inquiries, we look forward to having an open and honest dialogue about drug pricing."

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