Martin Shkreli, pharmaceutical executive and former hedge fund manager notorious for a 5,000 percent drug price hike, tweeted Friday that he would totally support Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump in November.
He also noted that Trump’s campaign never contacted him but he believes that the real estate billionaire needs a “VP candidate who is seasoned in politics.”
When a reporter from BuzzFeed asked him whether he would serve the country if there was a proposal to do so, Shkreli replied that his ‘gifts to the world’ belong to the private sector so he would rather keep away from the public arena.
The pharma executive added that he loves his country too much to serve in a public position. Shkreli is also known as the ‘pharma bro’ and ‘the Internet’s most hated man’ for its relaxed attitude and acid remarks at the time the entire country was outraged at his decision to hike the price of a life-saving drug overnight by 5,000 percent.
When he served as Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC’s chief executive, he decided to raise the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 in just one day. Daraprim is an older drug which can be a life-saver to HIV patients, pregnant women, and other patients with compromised immune systems. The drug was bought by Turing in 2015.
At the time, Shkreli said that the new price was not about greed, but about helping a company “stay in business.” Ironically, the 33-year-old CEO was arrested and brought to trial not because of the appalling price hike, but because of his shady deals while he was hedge fund manager. In the U.S., such price hikes are immoral, but there is no law against them.
Shkreli, however, had to appear before Congress and the Government Reform committee to do some explaining. As he was advised by his lawyer, he invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any self-incriminating questions.
Shkreli noted that he would rather back Donald Trump than support Hillary Clinton. He told Trump not to worry about a veto. Yet, Shkreli’s announcement comes as a surprise, since the young entrepreneur previously said that he wasn’t interested in politics and he ‘never voted and never will.’ He described politics as an “ugly game.”
The pharma bro’s recently found affection for Donald Trump is curious since the politician’s past tweets showed that the love was not mutual. Last fall, Trump said about Shkreli that he looked like a ‘spoiled brat.’
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