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Originally published November 8 2015

Big Pharma price gouging scrutinized by Congress as total prick Martin Shkreli called to testify

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A bipartisan select from the Congressional House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into the flagrant price-gouging extortion tactics of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO and The Avengers Loki villain lookalike Martin Shkreli.

Back in September, Shkreli made national headlines after he seized control of Turing and immediately raised the price of an off-patent drug for infections from $13.50 to $750, literally overnight. Shkreli became one of the most hated men in America based on this one move, and now the chickens are coming home to roost for this corporate crook.

According to ArsTechnica, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), leaders of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, sent Shkreli an official letter asking for his cooperation in the investigation, which they say is meant to "better understand drug pricing and related regulatory and public policy concerns."

The letter asks Shkreli to provide documents explaining why he decided to hike the price of Daraprim more than 5,500%. He has until December 2, 2015, to provide this documentation, which will reveal the full timeline of events from when Shkreli acquired the rights to Daraprim from Impax Laboratories, to when he made the decision to exploit those in need of this drug.

The committee is calling on Shkreli to offer an analysis of the new pricing scheme for Daraprim and how it was developed. It is also asking for historical data about the drug, including documents explaining its current market share, as well as all contact and communications with Impax associated with the acquisition of the drug.

Dirtbags like Shkreli represent everything that's wrong with modern 'healthcare'

Shkreli's actions in this case earned him such unbecoming titles as "douchebag" and "prick," and perhaps rightfully so. As we earlier reported, this former hedge fund manager is clearly more concerned with taking advantage of sick Americans in order to line his own pockets than he is with saving lives by offering antibacterial drugs at fair prices to consumers.

Shkreli is literally profiteering not only on the backs of the ill and needy, but also on taxpayers who pay for programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which will now be forced to cover the obscene costs associated with the use of Daraprim.

"Such price hikes on old drugs stand to raise the overall cost of healthcare for Americans, particularly vulnerable senior citizens, by hundreds of millions of dollars each year," writes Beth Mole for ArsTechnica.

"The goal of the committee is to understand the causes and impacts of, as well as potential solutions to the price increases. The committee also plans to investigate the companies' mergers and acquisitions, as well as the Food and Drug Administration's role in the approval and distribution protocol for generic drugs."

Shkreli denies guilt, says investigation is all about politics

Perhaps not surprisingly, Shkreli has already denied any guilt in association with his immoral price increase. He insists that Daraprim, which is often used by AIDS patients, is worth the new price, accusing the investigatory committee of launching the probe only to try to "gain political capital" in a misguided effort to take him down for ulterior motives.

"The senators have their facts wrongs," he told CNBC. "They're trying to make a tempest out of a teacup, and a mountain out of a molehill."

"Given the $500 billion industry ... neither this nor any other pricing increase will change the industry," he added, in a futile attempt to justify his abhorrent actions.

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