- Brian Frank/REUTERS
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly pilloried controversial pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli on Monday.
In a campaign ad and a lengthy Facebook post, Clinton ripped into the former hedge fund manager who drew widespread fire last week for raising a 62-year-old drug’s price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
“Did you see the outcry last week about the former hedge fund manager who bought up drug patents, then raised the price of medicine for AIDS patients by more than 5000%?” Clinton wrote while taking questions on Facebook.
“He still hasn’t said how much the drug will cost going forward, and in the meantime, sick patients still have to wait and worry and continue to pay $750/pill. So Mr. Shkreli, what’s it going to be?”
Clinton went on to demand he lower the cost of his drug to the original price.
“Do the right thing. Lower the cost today to its original price. There are other drug companies gouging Americans with higher prices than they charge other people around the world,” she continued, adding in a lengthy plug for her own campaign proposals.
In another Facebook post, Clinton wrote that “if you’re price gouging American families and jacking up costs for no good reason, I’m going to hold you accountable.”
Turing, a pharmaceutical startup that Shkreli founded in February, bought the US marketing rights to the drug Daraprim in August. The drug is used to prevent malaria and treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that’s dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS and patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Shkreli told Bloomberg TV last week that he hiked up the prices more than 5,000% because his company needed “to turn a profit on the drug.” He spent much of last week engaging defensively with critics on Twitter before Turing eventually backed down and said it would remain “affordable.”
Clinton publicly bashed Shkreli last week, but she took it to the next level on Monday with a campaign ad specifically calling him out. The commercial featured a photo of Shkreli and a highlight reel of critical news clips.
View the ad below:
Additional reporting by Brett LoGiurato.