If Shkreli wasn't in prison, then he would be a normal "activist investor" who has the ownership (power) to dictate corporate strategy at the highest levels. Whether he's the chief executive or not is kind of a moot point—that's just a title.
If I recall correctly, a securities-related conviction would prevent him from being a director of a publicly-traded company. But Phoenixus AG (née Turing) isn't public, so I don't think there's SEC limitations here.
That other shareholders want him removed from power is a preference and disagreement, nothing more.
Was there anything else in his sentencing that would preclude him from these kinds of activities? Or is this more a, huh, that's interesting message?
Reading the article, it seems like the rules he's breaking are:
1. Having a cell phone in prison.
2. "Running a business", in potential violation of the prison inmate handbook. I'm unclear if there are any legal teeth behind said handbook, or what.
The article also says that the FBI "has interviewed associates about his role" at Phoenixus, but not why they're doing that.
The WSJ either intentionally, or unintentionally, is subtly trying to cast this narrative that he is a mafia-boss who is still running is illegal mafia-crew from behind bars. They are doing that simply because it sells papers, I would assume.
If you take away the "business" aspect of it, and just think of it of an asset. Say for instance an inmate owns a house; is it somehow worrisome to imagine a they would want to check up on their asset and make decisions to improve it? Obviously not.
This is just the click-bait style material that "modern journalism" have been reduced to.
“conducting or directing an investment transaction without staff authorization” is a violation of the Inmate Discipline Program of equal severity to running a business, in fact, it has the same offense code.
(Though not as bad as circumventing BOP phone monitoring, which in turn is not as severe as merely possessing a cell phone, so, yeah, running the business is the least of the offenses.)
Any time I read a story on prison, I seem to almost always end up hearing about contraband. Even guys in solitary confinement with long-term heroin addiction. In solitary confinement. Authorities never are held responsible for this. Prison needs major reform.(1)
The handbook per se is just an informational guide, but it summarizes applicable law and BOP policy (which has force of law within BOP’s statutory role of regulating federal prisons.)
The relevant policy is the “Inmate Discipline Program” , under which possessing a mobile communication device is a “Greatest” severity offense (the same as killing or escape), using a phone (even a prison phone) in a manner which circumvents required BOP monitoring is a “High” severity offense, running a business is a “Moderate” severity offense.
Note also the sanctions starting on page 12. Worth noting that there appear to be zero repercussions outside of prison. Absolute worst case, Shkreli would lose "good behavior" time or get a parole date pushed back. Otherwise, we're talking about things like "loss of privileges".
The FBI involvement, however, indicates that there at least some indications of something more than pure inmate discipline issues that not only theoretically applies, but may actually be pursued.
Yeah,and they won't, because until and unless the DoJ indicts, they aren't likely to tell anyone what the FBI specifically was concerned about.
(Though the indication of attempts to intimidate people involved in business transactions Shkreli opposed seem the most obvious thing for the FBI to look into.)
While strictly speaking none of this should happen. Nobody minds because the overall nature of relationship is basically a kind of symbiosis, and throwing the rule book at every breath is neither possible nor feasible, and if done the interpersonal conflicts that come from it are far more trouble than the small pains from the act itself.
The prison guards have nothing to gain from this, especially while dealing with a billionaire doing a totally harmless activity. On the other hand playing nice, keeps the system going forward in the direction they want.
It's always better to control people through diplomacy than by force. It applies in all walks of life.
You don't need to be incompetent or corrupt to be okay with this, you just need to be human.
People don't like him not because of his "scam", but because he raised drug prices. Maybe people on HN and elsewhere think big pharma should be run as a charity, but in my book, making as much money as you can is a good thing, a noble and morally righteous thing in fact.
Companies should try and make as much money as humanly possible (without breaking the law), because this is the only framework in which competition can exist. Everyone, everywhere, should be as greedy as possible and try as make a big of return on their investments as possible. This is the origin of "competition."
If individuals and companies weren't doing that, our market wouldn't function and it wouldn't delivery nearly as value as it does to society.
I happily look forward to the downvotes.
> making as much money as you can is a good thing, a noble and morally righteous thing in fact.
I don't see how you can claim that what he did was morally righteous, but also possibly fraudulent.
> Companies should try and make as much money as humanly possible (without breaking the law)
The parenthetical here is hilarious, because it immediately contradicts your argument. Companies should try to make as much money as possible, until we decide that what they do should be illegal, in which case companies should not try to make as much money as possible. Isn't this always the case? Assuming we have a perfect system, companies should try to make as much money as possible within that system. Shkreli went to jail because he broke the law, therefore according to your own argument you shouldn't be admiring him.
Shrikeli did two things; (1) legally raise the prices of some drugs and (2) defraud his investors.
mruts is admiring (1) while condemning (2).
That would be weird, since Daraprim (the drug he hiked) was out of patent, anyone could make and sell it, and in fact a competitor did jut a couple of months later. How was Congress preventing competition?
Patents were a collateral issue. On that collateral issue, one of the issues with patents is that drug companies have a tendency to stop producing drugs towards the end of life of a patent to force patients onto a newly patented drug. This practice could be stopped by allowing generics to produce, market, and sell when the patent holder will not.
What seems to me is that the market was crowded out while the primary producer kept the prices low; when they were raised, the market responded.
The prosecutor picked the fight because they knew he was viewed as such an asshole that there was no way anyone would think any differently of him. It's the reason he's in jail for seven years despite making profits for those he defrauded (remember that sentencing in these cases is often dependent on damages) and Elizabeth Holmes isn't.
Good PR juju goes a long way: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mariappan-jawaharlal/tale-...
Painting yourself as the underdog before receiving any feedback undermines your communication. Even worse, the "your inevitable and surely unreasonable disagreement makes me happy" style of sign-off is just putting forth the image of being an asshole for basically no reason other than emotional self-defense.
You incitement of downvotes is clear enough indicator of your bad faith.
This part seems a little more relevant to this story than a parenthetical aside.
Arguably, Shkreli's actions incentivized competition (like the parent poster talked about), and at the cost of only two months of unaffordable prices, patients were left much better off.
Personally I still find his action abhorrent, but the facts do have some weight.
Not from me: your opinion stands out from the general HN hypocrisy, on top of being very consistent.
Well, Shkreli's company was providing the drug in question for free to those who could not afford it, so your rage seems a bit unsubstantiated.
Nobody deserves the kind of attention this will attract from BOP.
It wasn't an HIV drug. Pyrimethamine is mainly used to treat toxoplasmosis. Granted a huge target group would be HIV patients but right here that's just spinning a narrative. Shkreli might be a questionable character but that doesn't warrant publishing fake news.
(No doubt he did illegal stuff, but bigger fish do more than he did in his lifetime, before 8 am)
EDIT: Never mind. I'm dumb. I see that flagged comment now. My bad.
Someone asks you to conjure up a concrete criticism of the guy, and you just link to his Wikipedia page like you're being clever. Shkreli is an excellent man who's suffered a great deal of abuse and disparagement, and it's tremendously disappointing to continue to see comments like this in a venue that's supposed to know better.
If I'm recalling correctly, and I might not be, Shkreli is agnostic about the larger policy issue at hand, he simply made a choice for his own business that had little to no negative real impact.
Who in that (for profit) business doesn't???? Excluding Mother Teresa like foundations...
Why do you think out health care bill is so freaking high? Because of compassion from pharma CEOs?
Is this Hacker News?
Unsure if trolling.
The reason I say it's a bold claim is that I don't think he even makes the list of worst people on the earth. There's literally people Committing genocide. I would never put Mr. Skrelli in the same category as a murderer.
There's an interesting thing in societal norms, they shift over time. So if you were aware of his actions fully (and I didn't cover all the details here) and do feel like it's a bold claim I'd be curious to know (if you'd share it) which generational group you're in and where abouts in the country you are. There has lately, in American culture, been this glorification of white collar bad-boys and I find it deeply disturbing myself due to the immense volume of harm they end up bringing to undeserving people without the means to deflect it.
If you do even the slightest bit of (primary source) research into this, you will find that this is not true.
You're mistaking what he is for something else. He's not a white-collar bad boy, he's a troll.
There's a sibling post I wrote with my personal experience dealing with the ridiculousness of drug pricing, these tricks and games do hit people.
They weren't; insurance company profits are limited to a percentage of reimbursed costs, so the insurers were incedental beneficiaries of the scheme.
The targets were insurance premium payers.
What you said is not an achievable statement.
If the American health care system is so broken that insurance companies are making people destitute for receiving care then the USA has bigger problems than a single CEO.
This story is personal and doesn't involve any drugs Shkreli was directly involved with but I'm putting it out there to demonstrate the sort of BS pricing all throughout the pharma market, there are I'm sure some people with bad or no coverage but living just above the Medicaid line that had to pay full out-of-pocket price for Daraprim after the price hike from 13.50/pill to 750/pill, this problem really does hit people.
I agree that there are multiple solutions and issues here, the fact that the government allows market control via eternally extended patents (oh my, read about the history of insulin and how the Canadian inventors released it for free for ethical reasons and now a few companies have a stranglehold on the market) definitely contributes a lot to this situation, but even when looking at medical procedure billing you can easily find crazy market disparities in costs between hospitals down the street from one another - and medical procedures are (mostly) out of the government's hands, that's just unethical companies pumping up the prices on inelastic goods because they can.
Your question doesn't really apply to this last bit but I thought I'd add... Shkreli himself is not just a scapegoat, he was a bad actor and deserves what he's getting, unfortunately it is quite fair to point out that people who have acted equally unethically have felt no problems for their actions because, unfortunately, currently those unethical actions are not illegal in our society - as the Shkreli case and the vitriol around it demonstrates, we, the society, feel like this is an unethical state. There are arguments to be had about the tyranny of the majority and the unfair partial application of the law but... that's all just wool gathering to avoid the truth.
It only takes one person to post the comment and a few more to upvote it. Furthermore, particularly in the case of the WSJ, there is no low cost option for reading individual stories. You either become a subscriber at the monthly rate, or you don't read anything.
I don't think they ever intend to actually pay as much as they feel they do. Faced with the option to do so, they never do.
"I would do X" has a massive list of caveats, most of which are non-intersecting with anyone elses. Don't try to run a business based on this. Flattr and Blendle tried this and are having a hard time.
It's just "don't believe people will buy your product till you have the money".
Maybe something like https://www.w3.org/Payments/WG/
I pay circa $500/year for traditional journalism, plus maybe another $1000/year on Patreon for specific writers, plus assorted donations. So I'm not averse to paying.
However, there are a few cases where I'm happy to skate around a paywall. A relevant one here is that I just don't read the WSJ often enough to justify a full subscription. With other places, like say HBR, I'd fall in their "N free articles per month" bucket. I expect the WSJ will eventually come around to that approach. Until then, me reading it via Outline or whatever isn't costing the WSJ any money, either directly or in would-have-subscribed-if-I-had-to revenue, so I don't feel bad about it.
That’s why we have securities laws.
I'm not a fanboy or anything, but a big percentage of rich people have done some illegalities. They still end up on top. It's really survival of the fittest.
The humble people that want work life balance and doing the right thing are way less rewarded with money and luxury. You can be on the humble side, but don't wish misery on the witty capitalists. It will never happen.