Declaring that Martin Shkreli is banned from the pharmaceutical industry for life, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced the ruling while cleverly quoting 1994 signature Wu-Tang Clan hit “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Rules Everything Around Me).”
With two Twitter posts accompanying the ruling, James paraphrased her decision:
“The powerful don’t get to make their own rules, despite Shkreli thinking cash rules everything around him.”
James added that along with being banned, Shkreli will need to pay $64 million in profits.
Explained on James’ website, Shkreli was formerly CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which later became Vyera, where the company “violated federal and state laws by engaging in anticompetitive conduct to protect monopoly profits on the life-saving drug Daraprim.” Treating a rare parasitic disease that affects pregnant women, AIDS patients and cancer patients, the price of Daraprim was exorbitantly raised from $13.50 to $750 per pill after Shkreli obtained exclusive rights to the drug in 2015.
Resigning as Turing’s CEO in 2015, according to AP, Shkreli was later convicted and sentenced to a seven-year prison bid in 2018.
James’ Wu-Tang shoutout on Tuesday was a nod to Shkreli once being the owner of rare Wu-Tang album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. In 2015, the album was sold as a single copy when it was sold to Shkreli for $2 million. After being convicted in 2018, he was ordered to cough up $7.36 million in assets, the album being seized by US marshals.
In July 2021, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin was purchased by an anonymous buyer per crypto collective PleasrDAO, who said the album was bought for $4 million. With no copies of the one-of-one album being made, Wu-Tang Clan said it was created as “a form of protest of the way music had been devalued in the digital era.”
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