Pharma CEO who ‘ripped off’ HIV patients is now screwing over music fans
The former hedge fund manager who raised the price of an AIDS drug by 5500% has found a new group of people to screw over.
Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder and chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, came under fire after buying the rights to 62-year-old drug Daraprim.
The drug costs less than $1 per tablet to make, and is used to treat conditions including AIDS-related toxoplasmosis – but Shkreli raised the price by 5500%, charging $750 per pill.
However, now he’s found a new group of people to troll: fans of hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan.
The group had decided to make just one copy of its latest album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which was sold at auction.
The idea was that the winner would be free to do whatever they liked with the album, potentially releasing it to fans – but unfortunately Shkreli has other ideas.
In an apparent bid to cement his position as one of the world’s most hated businesspeople, Shkreli paid $2 million to win the album… and hasn’t even listened to it.
According to Bloomberg, Shkreli made the indulgence to win celebrity friends, seeking “an opportunity to rub shoulders with celebrities and rappers who would want to hear it.”
He explained of his decision not to listen to the album: “I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that… but for now, I think I’’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”
Speaking about the auction, which happened at the same time as the Daraprim rise, the Pharma bro said: “I really became convinced that I should be the buyer”.
Referencing the controversy, he said: “I was a little worried that they were going to walk out of the deal… but by then we’d closed.
“The whole kind of thing since then has been just kind of ‘Well, do we want to announce it’s him? Do we not want to announce it’s him?’
“I think they were trying to cover their butts a little bit.”
Unsurprisingly, given his past form, Shkreli isn’t too concerned about the group’s fans.
He said: “At the end of the day, they didn’t buy the last album or the one before that, and all they had to pay was $10.”
The multi-millionaire added that he would like to use his wealth to hoard other exclusive tracks from other artists.
He said: “You know, at the right price these guys basically will do anything.”