Ohio part of joint lawsuit against Martin Shkreli, Vyera Pharmaceuticals for preventing generic drug


Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced a joint lawsuit against Martin Shkreli and Vyera Pharmaceuticals for reportedly blocking the creation of a life-saving drug so they could continue to make profits.

The Federal Trade Commission as well as California, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia name filed the joint suit against Vyera Pharmaceuticals LCC and its former executives, Shkreli and Kevin Mulleady.

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“A free market is an unfettered market,” Yost said. “When a business uses secret agreements to tie down even the possibility of competition, both the market and the people are hurt — in this case, hurt badly.”

In 2015, Vyera Pharmaceuticals purchased the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection called

toxoplasmosis, which is typically transmitted through under-cooked meat and infected cat feces.

The company raised the drug’s price nearly 4,000%, from $17.50 to $750 per tablet.

Daraprim is the only FDA-approved drug for treatment of toxoplasmosis.

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“Defendants knew, though, that this revenue boon could be short lived: Daraprim had no patent or regulatory protection and the massive price increase would attract competition from lower-priced generic products,” the lawsuit read. “To preserve the Daraprim revenue stream, Vyera and Phoenixus—under the direction of Shkreli and Mulleady—executed an elaborate, multi-part scheme to block generic entry.”

Phoenixus is the parent company of Vyera.

To prevent the creation of a generic version of the drug, the company reportedly had restrictive and exclusive contracts and locked up all resources of the active ingredient needed to make the drug.

The seven states and FTC are seeking a permanent injunction and monetary relief.

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They are also asking the courts to ban Shkreli and Mulleady from the pharmaceutical industry for life.

Shkreli was previously sentenced to seven years in federal prison for securities fraud.

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