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Blog Post | January 26, 2024

The FTC Ain’t Nothin to Mess With

Anti-MonopolyFTCPharma
The FTC Ain’t Nothin to Mess With

The FTC has won its lawsuit against Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive infamous for jacking up the price of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 overnight in 2015 and later using his ill-gotten fortune to buy an exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million. Shkreli is the quintessential corporate ghoul, having already racked up convictions for securities fraud—which resulted in an indefinite ban from the securities industries—and failure to pay $1.26 million in New York state taxes. Now, his price gouging has finally caught up with him, as the FTC successfully argued that he spearheaded an anti-competitive scheme to monopolize the drug. The presiding judge found Shkreli’s conduct to be “egregious, deliberate, repetitive, long-running, and ultimately dangerous,” issuing a $64.6 million fine and imposing a lifetime ban from the pharmaceutical industry. 

This latest success by the FTC does more than just punish Shkreli, though. In Chair Khan’s own words, this ruling is a “warning to corporate executives everywhere” who have long escaped accountability for the actions of the corporations they direct. It’s the type of corporate crackdown that Americans (and RDP) have been begging for—using executive power to hold the most powerful economic actors accountable for their actions, rather than merely levying fines against corporations that factor in sanctions as a cost of doing business. 

We hope to see more of it, along with accountability for other types of corporate malfeasance beyond anti-competitive behavior. In the meantime, Shkreli is a ubiquitous corporate villain who will no longer victimize consumers thanks to Biden’s executive branch priorities, a fact his campaign ought to boast about proudly to pharmaceutical consumers—and Wu-Tang Clan fans— across the country.


Image Credit: “Federal Trade Commission” by faungg’s photos is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

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