Bernie Sanders smacks down Martin Shkreli: Rejects meeting and donation from hated drug CEO

“We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed"

Published October 16, 2015 12:04PM (EDT)


The most hated man in America -- at least a couple weeks ago -- just got the back of Bernie Sanders' hand.

According to the Boston Globe, Martin Shkreli, the Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who jacked up the price of Daraprim, the only drug for a rare parasitic disease, by some 4,000 percent, donated $2,700 to Sanders in late September, in hopes of getting a meeting with Sanders.

Bernie said not only no, but hell, no -- then gave his money to a health charity.

“We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed,” said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs. The money's going to the Whitman-Walker clinic in D.C. instead.

According to the Globe's interview:

“I think it’s cheap to use one person’s action as a platform without kind of talking to that person,” Shkreli said in the interview. “He’ll take my money, but he won’t engage with me for five minutes to understand this issue better.” ...

“I’d ask him, what role does innovation play in health care?” Shkreli said. “Is he willing to sort of accept that there is a tradeoff, that to take risks for innovation, companies have to invest lots of money and they need some kind of return for that, and what does he think that should look like?”

“And quite frankly, what I’m worried [about] is that he doesn’t have an answer for that, that he’s appealing to the masses, that he’s just kind of talking out of his rear end so that he gets some votes,” Shkreli said.

If Sanders gets his way and drug prices are limited, though, Shkreli said he’ll deal with it.

“Right now the rule of law in the United States is that drug companies can price their products wherever they see fit, not wherever he sees fit,” Shkreli said. “If the rule changes by congressional vote, then you know, I’ll adapt to the rules.”

Read the entire story here.

By Salon staff

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