US regulators asked a federal judge on Friday to hold Martin Shkreli in contempt for allegedly impeding its efforts to determine whether he flouted a ban on working in the pharmaceutical industry, where Shkreli gained the nickname “pharma bro” for pushing through exorbitant price increases and was convicted of scheming to defraud investors in a drugmaker.
In a filing in Manhattan federal court, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said Shkreli has not complied with its requests for information relating to Druglike Inc, a company it said he formed last July, and noted his apparent failure to pay any of a $64.6 million penalty that accompanied the ban.
An attorney for Shkreli said she hoped to resolve the issue quickly. “We think that this is a misunderstanding with the FTC,” said Brianne Murphy, who added that Druglike was a software company rather than a drug company.
Shkreli became a lightning rod for criticism after raising the price of the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim to $750 per tablet from about $17.50 in 2015 as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, and appearing unapologetic when criticized.