The drug industry’s most notorious CEO, who exulted in making a fortune by jacking up the price of a life-saving medicine, will plead the Fifth Amendment on Thursday morning when he appears for the first time before lawmakers he trashes on Twitter.
The appearance of former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, the hoodie-wearing, hip-hop-loving indicted millennial multimillionaire, will certainly create congressional theatrics — even if the usually chatty businessman stays silent. Less clear is whether the House Oversight hearing will also signal a shift to broader congressional focus on rising drug prices.
The trash-talking, attention-grabbing Shkreli is a one-man public relations disaster for the pharmaceutical lobby, whose representatives were making the rounds this week to educate lawmakers about why their companies are nothing like Turing and its bad boy former executive. PhRMA members, they say, invest time and money in research and development to bring cures to patients.
Shkreli is hardly alone in his money-grubbing. According to one report, the wholesale price of 30 of the top-selling drugs have increased by 76% since 2010.