Martin Shkreli, the estranged drug executive that jacked up the price of a lifesaving medication, pleaded the fifth before a Congressional Committee this week, infuriating lawmakers.
He’s been called the most hated man in America for numerous reasons, not least of which was raising the price of a lifesaving medication to a ridiculous cost, but Martin Shkreli may have finally outdone himself. According to an Associated Press report, the 32-year-old entrepreneur recently testified at a Congressional hearing about his involvement in raising the price of certain medications, and pleaded the fifth to a number of questions.
Lawmakers predictably weren’t happy about Shkreli’s appearance and answers, and Shkreli promptly took to Twitter to call his questioners “imbeciles.” “On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline my answer to your question,” he responded to multiple inquires from Congressmen trying to find out just how someone could so sharply raise the price of a medication.
Shkreli thought he had it made, but he wasn’t let off the hook so easily. Representative Elijah Cummings from Maryland, a ranking democrat on the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform, said, “I call this money blood money… coming out of the pockets of hardworking Americans. I know you’re smiling, but I am very serious, sir. I truly believe you can become a force of tremendous good. All I ask is that you reflect on it. No I don’t ask, I beg that you reflect on it.”
Shkreli was recently arrested for securities fraud for his time spent as a hedge fund manager, a case that has little to do with the one on display at the recent committee meeting. He was out on $5 million bail after being arrested in New York this December.
He has come under huge scrutiny since the end of 2015 when it became apparent that the young executive had purchased the rights to Daraprim, a medication used to treat a rare and often deadly parasite, and increased its price more than fifty times.
“Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government,” Shkreli tweeted after the hearing.
A press release from the office of Representative Elijah Cummings, a ranking member on the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, outlining Mr. Shkreli’s comments can be found here.