Shkreli faces new FTC, N.Y. crackdown for allegedly thwarting Daraprim generics

Shkreli was convicted on federal fraud charges in 2017. (House Oversight Committee)

The past few years have been tough on biotech chief and "most hated man in America" Martin Shkreli after a 2017 fraud conviction landed him behind bars. Despite that sentence––and the hefty civil penalty that came with it––Shkreli isn't nearly out of the woods yet. 

The Federal Trade Commission and New York attorney general filed a new lawsuit against Shkreli and Vyera Pharmaceuticals––formerly Turing––alleging a "comprehensive scheme" to stifle generic versions of its toxoplasmosis med Daraprim. 

According to the lawsuit, Shkreli and Vyera put in place a "web of contractual restrictions" that stopped distributors from reselling Daraprim to generics makers to thwart the bioequivalance testing required by the FDA in developing copycat drugs.

In addition, the suit claims, Shkreli and Vyera limited access to Daraprim's active pharmaceutical ingredient and instituted "data-blocking" agreements with distributors to prevent third-party reporting of Daraprim's sales. 

Daraprim was at the heart of nationwide scrutiny on Shkreli and Turing in 2015 after the drugmaker hiked the price of the lifesaving tablet from $17.50 to $750––a 4,000% increase. 

"The purpose and effect of Defendants’ anticompetitive conduct has been to thwart potential generic competition and protect the Daraprim revenues resulting from Vyera’s shocking price increase," the lawsuit said. "Absent Defendants’ anticompetitive conduct, Daraprim would have faced generic competition years ago."

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