Make us your home page
Instagram

Shkreli invokes the Fifth Amendment in House appearance

Martin Shkreli, the former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, reacts as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday in Washington.

New York Times

Martin Shkreli, the former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, reacts as Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday in Washington.

In a testy exchange with lawmakers, Martin Shkreli declined to testify before a House committee Thursday about his actions in increasing the price of a decades-old drug fiftyfold overnight.

Shkreli, who left Turing Pharmaceuticals, the drug company he started, after being indicted on federal securities fraud charges in December, repeatedly exercised his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination, angering various members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"I don't think I've ever seen the committee treated with such contempt," Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said after Shkreli was excused and left the room.

Shkreli did answer "yes'' when Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., asked him if he had pronounced his name properly.

The theatrics surrounding Shkreli's appearance, which included his smirking at some remarks by committee members and calling them "imbeciles" on Twitter after he left the hearing, overshadowed the discussion about huge overnight increases in the prices of old drugs by Turing and another company, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International.

Under Shkreli, Turing acquired the rights to Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug for a parasitic infection, and raised the price fiftyfold to $750 a pill.

Valeant has increased the price of numerous old drugs, but the House committee has focused on two heart drugs, Isuprel and Nitropress.

Howard B. Schiller, interim CEO of Valeant, rationalized the substantial increases in the prices of the two heart drugs by arguing that the company would merely be taking money from hospitals, not hurting patients. At the hearing, Schiller said the company now recognized that it had been too aggressive on certain pricing decisions and acknowledged public concern.

Shkreli invokes the Fifth Amendment in House appearance 02/04/16 [Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, New York Times.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.