Former banker who hiked price of drug refuses to speak at congressional hearing

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 05 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i765
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

Martin Shkreli, the 32 year old former hedge fund manager who became the boyish face of drug industry greed when his company, Turing, raised the price of an essential toxoplasmosis drug by 5000%,1 was unrepentant at a congressional hearing on drug prices, repeatedly invoking his constitutional right to remain silent.

“On the advice of counsel I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question,” Shkreli answered each questioner. Urged by Representative Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, to speak, Shkreli replied, “I intend to follow my counsel’s advice, not yours.”

Shkreli recently fired his legal team and replaced them with Ben Brafman, a New York attorney known for representing celebrities in criminal cases. Brafman has pressed Shkreli to remain silent and give no further media interviews, but with only limited success.

The day before the hearing Shkreli told Fox Business News that he would be invoking the Fifth Amendment reluctantly. “I would love to talk to Congress,” he said. “I would berate them. I would insult them.”

Within moments of …

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