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 McCaskillUnder pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support Overnight Defense: General warns State Department cuts would hurt military | Bergdahl lawyers appeal Trump motion | Senators demand action after nude photo scandal Top general: Trump State Department cuts would hurt military's efforts against Russia MORE (D-Mo.) said. “The facts underlying this hearing are so egregious but it’s hard not to get emotional about it.”
“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 TrumpMulvaney: Let states figure out 'essential health benefits' How President Trump can restore sanity to America's labor laws Planned Parenthood head to Ivanka Trump: 'Stand for women’ MORE recently trashed him as “a spoiled brat,” and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersStunning polls show Sanders soaring while 'TrumpCare' crashes The Hill's 12:30 Report The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee 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 CollinsFive takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing 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.