Shkreli testifies before Congress over pharmaceutical price hike

Martin Shkreli, the former CEO who raised the price of an HIV treatment drug by 5,000 percent last year, went before a Congressional Committee for a hearing on Thursday.

Shkreli, pejoratively known as “Pharma Bro”, has also been called the most hated man in America. That image seemed to be cemented at the Congressional hearing on drug pricing since he answered every question the same way; actually refusing to answer by pleading the 5th Amendment, rolling his eyes and smirking.

The 32-year-old former Turing pharmaceuticals CEO raised the price of the drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.

When asked by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) about what he’d say to a pregnant woman who might have “AIDS”, has no income and is in need of the drug, Shkreli simply stated, “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question."

Shkreli’s lawyer advised his client to refuse the questions and later defended his client’s actions.

“He did not intend to show any disrespect, he was listening intently and some of what you saw was nervous energy,” said Shkreli’s attorney, Ben Brafman.

Shkreli has spoken plenty outside the hearing room, speaking with the Fox Business Network this week.

“I think it's nothing more than an advertisement for some Congressmen that want to get some votes and some cheap publicity off of my name,” Shkreli told the network.
Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud in a separate case. He continues to blame lawmakers, tweeting it’s, “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”