The former hedge funder who garnered widespread criticism for raising a 62-year-old drug’s price by more than 5,000% has hired a lobbying firm.
Turing Pharmaceuticals recently hired four lobbyists from Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney, according to disclosure forms filed with the US House of Representatives and US Senate Tuesday.
The lobbying giant filed the disclosure, writing that the purpose was “strategy development and implementation of the company’s federal government relations initiatives.”
Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under fire after Turing hiked the price of Daraprim – a drug commonly used to treat patients with AIDS, cancer, and malaria – by about 5,445% last week.
Shkreli initially defended the price hike, but drew relentless criticism from a variety of influential US figures, including the Republican and Democratic presidential front-runners. Turing eventually pushed the price down from $750 per pill to an undisclosed amount.
After news of the price hike broke, Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee sent a letter to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), asking him to subpoena papers on the price hike. They also urged Chaffetz to hold a hearing with the 32-year-old Shkreli.
“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,” Clinton said in a Facebook question-and-answer session.
The four lobbyists in charge of the effort have experience lobbying in the US Food and Drug Administration, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to Buchanan’s website.
The drug has a small market in the US with no generic counterpart, giving it a veritable monopoly and near free reign to determine its own pricing.