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Senators slam pharma CEO for drug pricing, Wu Tang Clan album buy

Senators slam pharma CEO for drug pricing, Wu Tang Clan album buy
© ABC News

A pair of top senators lashed out Wednesday against several now-infamous drug company CEOs, including Martin Shkreli, who have been accused of price-gouging on potentially life-saving treatments.

“My biggest challenge today is to not lose my temper,” Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillPompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Overnight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (D-Mo.) said. “The facts underlying this hearing are so egregious but it’s hard not to get emotional about it.”

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McCaskill, who co-led the Senate’s first hearing on drug pricing this year, directed most of her attacks against Shkreli, the 32-year-old hedge fund manager-turned-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

“This is the same guy who thought it was a great idea to pay millions of dollars for the only existing album of the Wu Tang Clan,” she said, to sneers throughout the room, referring to a report on Wednesday that Shkreli shelled out $2 million for the only copy of "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," the most expensive album ever sold.

Shkreli, repeatedly dubbed “the most hated man in America,” has been under fire from congressional committees as well as presidential candidates from both parties. Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE recently trashed him as “a spoiled brat,” and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHannity snaps back at 'Crybaby' Todd: 'Only conservatives have to disclose relationships?' Chuck Todd lashes out at Fox, defends wife in radio interview Trump pressed Sessions to fire FBI agents who sent anti-Trump texts: report MORE (I-Vt.) redirected the CEO’s campaign contribution to charity.

Shkreli, meanwhile, has basked in the attention — further inflaming his critics on Twitter after deciding to live-stream his every move for 24 straight hours.

McCaskill said she has been repeatedly shunted in her investigation of Turing, which came under fire after reports that it raised the costs of a decades-old anti-parasitic drug from $13.50 to $750 per bill.

“Valeant refused to answer my questions and instead downplayed my concerns,” she said, raising her voice. As she turned to the witness panel of mostly medical experts and doctors, McCaskill thanked her co-chair of the committee Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSunday Shows Preview: Emmanuel Macron talks ahead of state dinner GOP poised to advance rules change to speed up Trump nominees Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (R-Maine) because “she calms me down.”

Collins, in her slow, even tone, also blasted the companies for creating “excuses” to raise their prices without explanation.

“Some of the companies that have been the focus of our investigation look more like hedge funds than they do pharmaceutical companies,” Collins said.