‘Grab Clinton’s Hair’ and Other Times Pharma Bro Shkreli Made a Fool of Himself
AP Photo/ Richard DrewLife19:44 06.09.2017(updated 19:45 06.09.2017) Get short URL
Martin Shkreli, infamous for hiking the price of vital drug Daraprim 4000 percent, has once again stoked online controversy after asking his followers to secure a sample of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
In the spirit of smells one simply cannot get rid of, convicted fraudster and almost universally reviled “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli challenged his Facebook followers to nab a sample of Hillary Clinton’s hair for him in exchange for US$5,000.
The 34-year-old “Pharma Bro” has repeatedly focused his troll crosshairs on Clinton in 2017 — on September 1, he claimed to possess her DNA, and said cloning her would be a “societal and environmental catastrophe the likes of which the world has never seen.”
The post was accompanied by a photograph of himself holding a small plastic bag with a biohazard symbol printed on it, said to contain the DNA.
The provocative posts suggest Shkreli is apparently unfazed by his potentially impending imprisonment — he was convicted of three counts of securities fraud in August, and faces up to 20 years in prison on each of two counts, and another maximum of five years for the third.
It is far from the first time Shkreli’s actions and statements have inspired widespread disgust and anger.
Thiola Price Hike
In 2014, Shkreli purchased the rights to Thiola, a prescription drug used to control the rate of cystine precipitation and excretion in the disease cystinuria, and raised prices from US$1.50 to US$30 per pill.
Luckily, the hike inspired others to produce low-cost alternatives, with Tiopronin Delayed Release retailing at a comparatively knockdown US$7.68 per pill.
However, the despicable episode appears to have been a mere warm up for what was to follow — and seems positively tame by comparison.
Daraprim Price Hike
Shkreli bought the rights to Daraprim, a vital drug used to treat parasitic infections, in September 2015, and raised prices 4,000 percent, to US$750 per pill.
The act led then-presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and many other big pharma executives, to attack him personally.
Due to the onslaught, Shkreli relented, and promised to lower the price.
As of August 2017, no price drop has materialized.
Bernie Sanders Donation
As an attempt to rehabilitate his tattered image in October 2015, Shkreli donated US$2,700 to Bernie Sanders’ Presidential campaign.
Sanders did not accept the money, instead donating it to a health clinic.
Shkreli reacted in a predictably “calm, sensible” way, stating he was so angry with Sanders he could “punch a wall.”
In 2015, Shkreli anonymously purchased the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, paying US$2 million for the exclusive record.
When the identity of the winning bidder was exposed, the hip hop community was immensely displeased — among them Wu-Tang Clan themselves.
RZA, who formed Wu-Tang and led production of the album, released a statement saying that Shkreli’s business practices had not been made public when they agreed to the deal.
He also subsequently tweeted a reference to a rumor that Wu-Tang and actor Bill Murray had one attempt each to steal the album back.
‘Most Successful Albanian’ Claim
In December 2015, Shkreli proclaims himself “the most successful Albanian ever to walk the earth.”
Fortune magazine dutifully investigated his claims, and found them to be untrue — Albanians including Jim and John Belushi, Regis Philbin and Mother Teresa were all found to have made more money in their lifetimes than Shkreli.
Shkreli was permanently banned from Twitter in January 2017.
The social media network said enough was enough after he repeatedly tweeted claims he was dating journalist Lauren Duca, and shared fake, edited pictures of the two together through his account.