A smirking, above-it-all Martin Shkreli, who has been referred to as the “most hated man in America”, has taken to Blab and Spreecast to give his side of the story. The businessman had been criticized last year after his company suddenly raised the price of a potentially life-saving drug, Daraprim. The drug, which is used around the world, can help patients with AIDS and some kinds of cancer. Daraprim is used all over theworld.
Last year, Shkreli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the cost of the drug from $13.50 a pill to $700 a pill. Daraprim had once sold for as little as $1 a pill. The 32-year-old Shkreli has repeatedly defended the price increase as legal and claims the move was designed to increase profits for investors.
On Thursday, Shkreli appeared at a hearing of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. House members attempted to grill a smug-looking Shkreli about why the company raised the price of the medicine, making it too pricey for most of the people it was designed to treat. At the hearing, Shkreli invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and did not answer the lawmakers’ questions. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says a person cannot be compelled be a “witness against himself” in a criminal court case. This infuriated lawmakers, who repeatedly scolded him for his demeanor.
Shkreli has not remained totally silent this week. He tweeted about the hearing right after it ended, and has kept up a social media assault, hosting programs on Blab and Spreecast. He has remained critical of the lawmakers who had questioned him. “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government”, he wrote in a Tweet immediately after the hearings. By Friday, “Martin Shkreli” had became the number-one search term on Google. “Shkreli” trended on Twitter in the United States.
On Spreecast, Shkreli has lived up to his hype. Webcasting from a cluttered room, like most other users of Blab and Spreecast, Shkreli came across as arrogant, short-tempered, impatient, conceited, and put upon. He repeated his assertion that he was only looking out for investors, and repeated more than once that he had attended a school for gifted children. At no time did he come even remotely close to expressing sympathy for those who may now die because they cannot afford the AIDS drug. He displayed all the charm of a sociopath, and seemed unable to conceive of why anyone would object to his business practices.
Shkreli seems more suited to bullying slow talkers on Spreecast than he does running a pharmaceutical company. Keep your eyes open for more, he doesn’t seem to plan on going away any time soon. His February 6, 2016 Spreecast has garnered over 13,000 impressions so far.