Ex-Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli has asked for immunity in order to testify before a congressional hearing.
Martin Shkreli was subpoenaed to testify about a 5,000% price increase for a drug.
His lawyer asked for immunity because of an ongoing Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation into the price rise, Reuters reported.
Martin Shkreli stepped down as Turing’s head following his arrest for investor fraud at a different company.
In a letter seen by Reuters, Martin Shkreli’s lawyer said the former CEO would “gladly cooperate” and produce documents at the hearing on January 26 if he is given immunity.
On January 21, Martin Shkreli said he would remain silent if forced to appear at the congressional hearing.
The FTC is allegedly investigating anti-trust violation by Turing Pharmaceuticals when it raised the price of Daraprim.
The drug is used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection common in people with AIDS.
Daraprim was invented in the 1950s and acquired by Turing for $50 million in 2015. In August, Turing increased Daraprim’s price from $13.50 to $750 per dose.
In December, Martin Shkreli was arrested in New York on charges he defrauded investors as the head of drug company Retrophin and as a fund manager at the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management.
He has denied the charges and was released on bail pending the trial.
Members of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee have argued Martin Shkreli cannot invoke his right against self-incrimination because his arrest is separate from the congressional investigations.
They have responded angrily to Martin Shkreli’s attempts to avoid testifying.
On January 21, Congressman Elijah Cummings, a committee member, said: “If he plans on trying to use his own intentional inaction as some kind of bogus excuse for not showing up at Tuesday’s hearing, people will see right through such a juvenile tactic.”
Martin Shkreli has mocked the subpoena on social media by tweeting a picture of the letter sent by the Oversight Committee with the comment: “Found this letter. Looks important.”
Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton will unveil a plan to rein in prescription drug costs by forcing pharmaceutical companies to reinvest their profits into research and allowing for more generic and imported drugs.
The proposal, which Hillary Clinton will outline in a speech in Iowa on September 22, would also allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug costs and cap out-of-pocket expenses, according to details of the plan sent out by her campaign team.
The plan seeks to address a key shortcoming of ObamaCare, President Barack Obama’s signature health law, as Hillary Clinton aims to show how she would put her imprint on it.
On September 21, Hillary Clinton sent out a tweet referencing a New York Times article about Daraprim, a drug to treat toxoplasmosis that increased in price overnight from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
“Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I’ll lay out a plan to take it on,” Hillary Clinton said.
US pharmaceuticals companies charge Americans thousands of dollars for new drugs that are often priced lower in other developed nations while receiving billions of taxpayer dollars for basic research, according to the campaign.
The prescription drug plan is part of a broader focus on health care this week.
On September 23, Hillary Clinton will outline a separate set of proposals to address other out-of-pocket health costs that patients face.
According to the campaign, Hillary Clinton’s plan will propose to:
Deny tax breaks for consumer advertising and demand that drug companies instead invest US taxpayer dollars in research and development. Many companies benefit from corporate write-offs for advertising aimed specifically at consumers. Companies that receive federal funds would be required to reinvest a certain amount in research.
Encourage the production of generic drugs including lowering the amount of time companies can exclusively produce new treatments.
Cap what insurers can charge consumers with chronic or serious health conditions in out-of-pocket costs. Health insurance plans would place a monthly limit of $250 on out-of-pocket costs for such patients.
Allow Americans to import drugs from abroad. Countries in Europe with similar safety standards often pay half of what American pay for the same drugs, according to the campaign.
Allow Medicare to negotiate drug and biologic prices, especially for high-cost drugs with limited competition.
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