Jan 28, 2020

Martin Shkreli sued again for allegedly violating antitrust law

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Federal officials and New York state have sued Martin Shkreli for allegedly violating antitrust law when he raised the price of Daraprim by 4,000%, Bloomberg reports. Shkreli is already in prison on a separate charge.

Why it matters: Shkreli and Vyera Pharmaceuticals, formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals, became the face of out-of-control drug pricing. The lawsuit suggests that such behavior could have been illegal.

Details: The massive Daraprim price hike came in 2015, after Shkreli acquired the drug.

  • The Federal Trade Commission and New York say that he also blocked generic competitors through contractual restrictions.

The other side: "Mr. Shkreli looks forward to defeating this baseless and unprecedented attempt by the FTC to sue an individual for monopolizing a market," Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s lawyer, said in a statement.

Go deeper: Martin Shkreli runs his company from prison

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FTC reviewing a decade of Big Tech acquisitions

Statue outside FTC headquarters in Washington. Photo: Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call/Getty Images

The Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday it is investigating acquisitions made by Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet/Google from 2010 on.

Why it matters: As pressure mounts to regulate Big Tech companies as monopolies, the FTC is one of two arms of the federal government empowered to enforce antitrust law, along with the Justice Department.

Why Biogen's generic drug patent win matters

Mylan is itching to make a generic version of Biogen's popular multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera, but that won't be happening for a while now that federal patent reviewers turned down Mylan's patent challenge.

The big picture: The victory for Biogen not only secures several more years of monopoly pricing for the company — Biogen has a history of raising Tecfidera's list price by at least 5% per year — but also likely will create a higher baseline price for when Tecfidera generics finally come out.

Go deeperArrowFeb 10, 2020 - Health

Big Pharma's bottom line is leaving the world vulnerable to pandemics

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Drug companies don't have much financial incentive to invest research and development dollars into new vaccines and antibiotics, leaving the world vulnerable to future pandemics.

Between the lines: The best-case scenario for these kinds of drugs is that they're lightly or never used. That doesn't sound very good to companies when their R&D dollars could alternatively go to diseases like cancer, which are much more likely to turn a sizable profit.

Go deeperArrowJan 24, 2020