Pharma Bro who ‘ripped off’ HIV patients banned from Twitter for harassment
Notorious pharma exec Martin Shkreli, most famous for trying to rip off AIDS patients, has been banned from Twitter for harassing a female journalist.
Turing Pharmaceuticals founder Martin Shkreli came under fire in 2015 after buying the rights to 62-year-old drug Daraprim, which is used to treat conditions including AIDS-related toxoplasmosis, and jacking up the price to $750 a pill – a 5500% price.
Shkreli was removed as the company’s CEO after he was arrested over unrelated fraud allegations, but has maintained a media profile as a Donald Trump supporter.
Yesterday, Shkreli was banned from Twitter after encouraging a harassment campaign against Teen Vogue journalist Lauren Duca, who had written a piece critical of the President-elect.
He sent her tweets offering her a date to Trump’s inauguration and joked about his “small crush on @laurenduca” before the harassment got out of hand.
Ms Duca complained to Twitter founder Jack Dorsey after discovering that Shkreli had downloaded dozens of photos of her and made them into a collage, also photoshopping himself over a picture of her husband and setting it as his profile picture.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed: “The Twitter Rules prohibit targeted harassment, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies.”
Shkreli appeared before Congress earlier this year – but refused to answer nearly every question that was put to him.
Asked about his actions, he said: “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and respectfully decline your question.”
Asked about AIDS patients struggling to afford their medication, he said: “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and respectfully decline your question.”
When challenged about his refusal to cooperate, he told a lawmaker: “I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, not yours.”