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Tiny

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Isn't the Free market wonderful?

WASHINGTON—Embattled drug entrepreneur Martin Shkreli — who vigorously defended his decision to hike the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 — suddenly went silent Thursday at a Congressional committee, smirking and grinning instead of answering questions.



Now facing an unrelated federal criminal indictment, the typically loquacious Shkreli refused to testify, repeatedly citing his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.

Members of Congress launched into fiery lectures directed at Shkreli, whose previous company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under scrutiny when it raised the price of Daraprim more than 5,000%. The pill is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that afflicts people with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS and pregnant women.

"Drug company executives are lining their pockets at the expense of some of the most vulnerable families in our nation," U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said. "It's not funny, Mr. Shkreli. People are dying and they're getting sicker and sicker."

The boyish-faced Shkreli sat quietly at the witness table, clasping his hands tightly and slowly rubbing his fingers together as he was lectured. He smirked several times and appeared on the verge of laughter at one point when Cummings was speaking.

After the hearing, he removed any doubt about his feelings.

"Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government," Shkreli said on Twitter, where he proceeded to retweet messages from several supporters.

Pelted with hostile questions, Shkreli repeatedly recited a prepared statement that he would not testify on the advice of his counsel. He is facing multiple criminal securities charges over allegations that he took stock from a previous biotech company to pay off business debts and lied about the investment returns of his former hedge fund.

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, professed to be flabbergasted at Shkreli's silence on drug-price-hiking issues, telling the entrepreneur that he could testify on those matters without incriminating himself.

"I intend to follow the advice of counsel, not yours," Shkreli told Gowdy.

At one point, Shkreli's attorney, Ben Brafman, stood up in the crowd and tried to intervene. But U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the committee, quickly rejected Brafman's efforts.

"No you are not recognized and you will be seated," Chaffetz said.

After less than an hour, Chaffetz dismissed Shkreli from the hearing since he was refusing to say anything.

In a brief press conference afterward, Brafman sought to explain Shkreli's dismissive facial expressions, saying his client was just "nervous." Shkreli did not comment during the press conference, but tweeted moments later.

In days before the hearing, he blasted Congress and made sarcastic jokes on Twitter about the subpoena he received to testify.

"I'm not going to say anything other than the 5th Amendment," he said recently. "They just want this to be a circus."

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Georgia, the only pharmacist in Congress, said during the hearing that he supports free-market principles but was "disgusted" by drug-price-hiking companies.

"What was done here was different," Carter said. "Perverse business practices were employed."

The charismatic persona that Shkreli has cultivated — paying $2 million for the only copy of a new Wu Tang Clan album and setting up a web cam to film himself working — amplified the tension with Congress.

"People in my district are not on the Forbes billionaire list — they can’t buy Wu Tang Clan albums for $2 million," Cummings said. "Like many Americans they struggle every single month to pay for the increasing cost of housing, education and health care. They live from paycheck to paycheck and sometimes from no check to no check."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/02/04/martin-shkreli-congressional-testimony-turing-pharmaceuticals-valeant-fda-drug-prices/79808004/
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Tiny

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Re: Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth, then tweets about 'imbeciles' in Congress
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 06:05:55 PM »

This morning, Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, refused to answer any questions asked him by a House committee looking into his decision to hike the price of Daraprim – used for a rare but severe infection that afflicts people with compromised immune systems as in AIDS and during chemotherapy, which had been on the market for decades before Shkreli bought it – from $13.50 to $750. Instead, Shkreli sat silently and smirked at the committee. Then he tweeted: “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”

Last year, when asked about the price hike, Shkreli argued the profits would be poured into research. “With these new profits we can spend all of that upside on these patients who sorely need a new drug.” Baloney. Yesterday, the House committee investigating him released an email from Shkreli to his board telling them of the purchase and his plan to hike its price. “$1bn here we come … a very handsome investment for all of us.”

Martin Shkreli represents everything wrong with the kingpins of American capitalism today – not just towering greed but a willingness to sacrifice anyone or anything for the sake of making more money, and an utter contempt for the public and our democracy.

For his antics this morning, Congress should hold Shrekli in contempt. For his price manipulations, he should go to jail.
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blue2

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Re: Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth, then tweets about 'imbeciles' in Congress
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 06:20:17 PM »

I don't see what he did was illegal..unethical probably. The only thing he didn't do right was donate millions to politicians or hire a couple of them.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth, then tweets about 'imbeciles' in Congress
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 07:08:04 PM »

I don't see what he did was illegal..unethical probably. The only thing he didn't do right was donate millions to politicians or hire a couple of them.

If he didn't do anything 'illegal' then why did he have to 'plead the fifth' so many times ??? ??? ???

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blue2

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Re: Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth, then tweets about 'imbeciles' in Congress
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 07:19:14 PM »

Jacking the price up was his option.  Beyond that what he did I didn't read about it so there may be other things that were illegal.
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