Of all the recognitions and accolades one can earn, nothing quite compares to being called the most hated person in the world. “Hate” is a pretty strong word, so to have done something to merit this reputation means a person must have done something truly deplorable. It takes a special kind of nastiness to be recognized this way. This was precisely the case for Martin Shkreli, who, until now, remains one of the most hated individuals in the world.
Who is The Most Hated Person in the World?
Martin Shkreli is a convicted American felon and former hedge fund manager. He founded several hedge-fund companies early in his career. However, he was most well-known in the world of pharmaceuticals.
He was the former chief executive officer of two pharmaceutical firms: Retrophin and Vyera Pharmaceuticals (formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals). Shkreli was widely criticized in 2015 when Turing got the manufacturing license for a drug called Darapim.
During this time, he raised the price from $13.50 to an incredible $750 per tablet. Other than this, Shkreli was also charged and convicted in court on two counts of securities fraud that was unrelated to the pharmaceutical controversy.
He is currently at the low-security prison in Pennsylvania and is expected to be released sometime in late 2023, facing $7.4 million in fines.
How It All Began
Source: The Independent
Martin Shkreli was raised by Albanian and Croatian immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York City, in a working-class community. However, he did well in school, skipping several grades and earning a business degree from Baruch College in 2004.
When he was 17 years old, he started his first internship at Cramer Berkowitz & Co. This was TV personality Jim Cramer’s hedge fund.
In 2006, not long after his internship, Shkreli started his own hedge fund Elea Capital Management. It closed just about a year later after Lehman Brothers filed a $2.3 million lawsuit.
Two years later, Shkreli started another hedge fund (MSMB Capital Management). This would be the springboard he would use to begin biotech and pharmaceutical firms, including Turing.
Trouble in Pharmaceuticals
Before Turing, Martin Shkreli founded the biotech firm Retrophin in 2011. It aimed to provide medicines for rare diseases. But, similar to his hedge fund ventures, Shkreli ran into trouble. He was eventually removed as head of the company in 2014 following allegations of mishandled legal settlements.
Soon after, Retrophin filed a $65 million lawsuit. It claimed that Shkreli created the company and made it public to pay off the investors when his old hedge fund declined. He denied the accusations, even going as far as to tell The New York Times that everything was made up to trick him out of the money.
Despite his denial, a jury found Martin Shkreli guilty of three out of eight counts in 2017 for securities fraud and others. However, there were no charges against him that he used Retrophin to pay for his previous hedge funds.
Source: The Pharmaletter
After the Retrophin debacle, Shkreli launched Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015. The supposed aim of the business was to focus on serious diseases that had limited options for treatment and medication. The statement on their website at the time said, “We are dedicated to helping patients, who often have no effective treatment options.”
The company started with only two treatments on the market: Vecamyl and Daraprim. Both these medications were for hypertension. And this is precisely where Martin Shkreli earned himself the reputation of the most hated man in the world.
Shkreli increased Daraprim’s price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet with a simple justification: the drug was highly specialized. He even said that reducing its price would be like selling a luxury car for the price of a bicycle. Although many people were dubious, Shkreli insisted that these profits would be used to improve the formulation of other drugs.
The result was outrage — and rightly so. The price hike led to two things. First, it rendered the company’s credibility and authority useless. Second, it endangered people who relied on medication to treat their conditions. To make matters worse, Shkreli did not see a problem with it. This is perhaps what made him the most hated person in the world up to now.
However, after facing much pressure, Shkreli announced that Turing would give hospitals a 50% discount on Daraprim. Its new price of $375 per tablet was still a far cry from the original price of $13.50. In the end, this move seemed to be more to save face than for the general public’s interest.
Martin Shkreli Today
Source: Stat News
Today, Martin Shkreli is still trying to shorten his prison sentence. A federal judge has recently rejected Shkreli’s request to be released from prison early. Shkreli claimed that his mental issues weakened his immune system.
He also said that it increased his risk of contracting the Coronavirus. Many viewed this with much skepticism, especially the judge. Shkreli even asked to be released for three months to develop a cure for the Coronavirus. The request, of course, was promptly declined.
It seems that Shkreli has not changed much since he was first locked up in 2017. US district judge Kyo Matsumoto stated the decision in a 12-page ruling. It stated that the former Turing Pharmaceutical executive would not be granted a shorter sentence. This was because he failed to demonstrate any compelling arguments or factors that would merit one. He was also denied home confinement.
Martin Shkreli gained his reputation as a “Pharma Bro” all over the world. But, sadly, the motives behind his actions were not in the interest of the people he claimed to help. As time went on, his ventures were filled with fraud and suspicion, none of which helped his case.
Some may call serial killers or terrorists the worst people in the world. However, Shkreli proves that nothing is worse than deliberately doing something terrible and justifying it. And none of it was worth the few moments of fame and fortune.
For more features on notorious individuals, stay tuned for our other articles. In the meantime, read other informative articles on Blaze Press.