“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli is an entrepreneur and former drug company executive who was sentenced to seven years in jail on Friday for defrauding investors. The 34-year-old former hedge fund manager first made headlines in 2015 by jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug.
Shkreli’s founded Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015, shortly after which the company acquired anti-parasitic drug Daraprim. It hiked the price of the drug by 5,000 per cent to $750 per pill. The move drew severe criticism, and lead Shkreli to be known as “Pharma Bro” and “the most hated man in America”.
Shkreli was born in Brooklyn to parents of Albanian and Croatian descent, who moved to US from Montenegro. He received a BBA in Finance and Economics from Baruch College in 2004, founded Retrophin in 2011 and ran it as a portfolio company with an emphasis on biotechnology, to create treatments for rare diseases. In 2015, he found Turing Pharmaceuticals, after his departure from Retrophin.
In 2017, Shkreli was sent to jail after a federal judge revoked his bail because he had offered $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair. He had written two Facebook posts offering cash to anyone who could “grab a hair” from Clinton during her book tour.