Martin Shkreli Is A Piker—-Here’s How Big Pharma Does It

Last week, when the 15 minutes of fame, or rather infamy, of Turing Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli came and went following his now ill-fated attempt to boost the price of a toxoplasmosis drug by 5000%, we said two things: “Martin Shkreli’s (who started his Wall Street career working for Jim Cramer, and apparently still owes the Lehman estate $2.3 million for a Put trade gone wrong) decision to disturb the fragile equilibrium in the biotech industryand “now that Shkreli’s 15 minutes of fame are over and his Twitter profile is now in “private” mode the attention should shift to the real villains – those truly big pharma companies, who do what Shkreli did but on a far vaster and grander, if less obvious, scale taking advantage of the price cushioning effects that Obamacare provides.”

Today, this is precisely what happened, when as we reported previously Democrats on the House oversight committee sent a letter demanding that serial biotech rollup Valeant Pharmaceuticals should provide documents explaining hefty price increases for two heart drugs.

As the WSJ adds, “Valeant refused early this month to provide documents sought by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) explaining the 525% and 212% price increases the company took on the two drugs the day it acquired their rights, saying the requested information was “highly proprietary and confidential.”

That probably would have been the end of it… had it not been the NYT article from last weekend blasting Shkreli’s decision to bring the attention of the entire country to the biotech space in general, and price gougers such as Turing and Valeant in particular.

The immediate reaction to today’s news was a historic collapse in Valeant’s share price, which crashed by 17% leading to $600 million in losses for Bill Ackman, and forcing the continued

Originally appeared at: