WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Martin Shkreli is currently in prison for an unrelated case. His former company Vyera Pharmaceuticals, as well as others, asked a judge Monday to rule that no law was broken in handling Daraprim. The drug saw its cost increase more than 4,000% within a single day.
In January 2020 the Federal Trade Commission brought suit alleging that Shkreli’s company protected its drug dominance by limiting distribution so generic drug manufacturers could not obtain the necessary samples to make a lower-cost version. FTC also stated that potential competitors were prevented from buying the ingredient by Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Toxoplasmosis treatment Daraprim saw its cost rise from $17.50 per tablet up to $750. Toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection common to humans, can cause serious complications if it is not treated properly.
On Monday, defendants stated that FTC did not prove the company had hurt competition since Bactrim, another effective drug for treating toxoplasmosis, was also available. The defendants also claimed that other companies were able to purchase the key ingredient, Pyrimethamine, contrary to an FTC claim.
They also claimed in the filing that they failed to prove the defendants had made any illegal gains.
On Dec. 14, the U.S. District Court for Southern New York will begin the trial.
Shkreli is set to be released from prison on October 20,22. He was famous for raising the cost of anti-parasitic drugs Daraprim during his time as chief executive at Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Shkreli was convicted of defrauding investors of two hedge funds he started and of trying to boost the stock price for Retrophin (NASDAQ) Inc., a biotech company he used to run.
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