Ex-CEO behind drug price hike: ‘A very handsome investment’

Carrying an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in a makeshift cat litter pan, AIDS activists and others are asked to leave the lobby of 1177 6th Ave. in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers have released a trove of documents detailing hikes in drug prices by Turing Pharmaceuticals and Valeant Pharmaceuticals that have sparked public outrage over pharmaceutical pricing.

Excerpts from the 300,000 documents showcase the internal strategy of Turing’s former CEO Martin Shkreli, who became the enfant terrible of the pharmaceutical industry last fall after hiking the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000 percent.

Shkreli said in an email to one contact that “We raised the price from $1,700 per bottle to $75,000. Should be a very handsome investment for all of us.”

Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents in New York Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, after being taken into custody following a securities probe.
Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents in New York Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, after being taken into custody following a securities probe.

Shkreli was arrested late last year on securities fraud charges tied to his actions at another pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, which he ran as CEO from 2012 to 2014.

Separate documents show that Valeant and its CEO J. Michael Pearson decided to buy two life-saving heart drugs, Nitropress and Isuprel, to dramatically hike prices and drive up his company’s revenue and profit.

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