Martin Shkreli (a.k.a. “Pharma Bro”), remember him? Well, he’s back! Sorta.
In case you need a reminder, Shekreli’s the former pharmaceutical exec who, in 2015, jacked up the price of an AIDS medication called Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill then he went TV to say he regretted not raising the price even higher. In 2018, he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison after being found guilty of securities fraud and conspiracy.
The 37-year-old, who is currently being held at a low-security facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, recently petitioned to be released from prison so he could research possible treatments for coronavirus. Unfortunately for him, a judge denied his request over the weekend.
On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued a nine-page ruling saying that Shkreli didn’t offer a single compelling reason why he might be eligible house arrest, which some non-violent, vulnerable inmates have been granted during the pandemic.
Shkreli had tried saying the country’s current response to coronavirus has been “inadequate” and claiming his experience “as a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates” positioned him to find a cure.
But Matsumoto wrote that Shkreli’s belief he could find a cure for a deadly virus that has “so far eluded the best medical and scientific minds in the world working around the clock” is yet another example of Pharma Bro’s “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior,” which he exhibited throughout his trial in 2017.
Matsumoto also noted that there hasn’t been a single case of coronavirus at the facility where Shkreli is being held, and that his alleged childhood asthma does not make him “high risk” for contracting the virus.
Following the ruling, Shkreli’s lawyer said his client was “disappointed” by the ruling, though he added it was “not unexpected.”