Trump: Drug CEO that raised prices 4,000 percent is ‘spoiled brat’
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump on Wednesday tore into a drug company CEO who has drawn national scorn for hiking the cost of a life-saving drug by 4,000 percent overnight.
“He looks like a spoiled brat to me. He’s a hedge fund guy. I thought it was disgusting what he did,” Trump told reporters in South Carolina.
Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder and CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical, has become the target of bipartisan disdain after making headlines this week for raising costs of a drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill overnight.
His inflammatory comments on social media and in TV interviews — calling his price increase “a great thing for society” while berating journalists — have prompted further outcry.
Trump said he was particularly disturbed by the CEO’s refusal to back down after a New York Times story publicized the cost increase.
“That guy is nothing. He’s zero. He’s nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself,” Trump said.
The medication, Daraprim, is used to treat parasitic infections and is commonly used by AIDS patients. It has been around for more than 60 years.
One top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), has said Shkreli should be called in to testify before Congress. He has also urged more hearings into the rising costs of prescription drugs.
Hillary Clinton twice called out the company for “pure price gouging” this week, including once during a nationally publicized speech on profiteering by drug companies.
While Shkreli announced this week that he will limit the increases of the drug, he has largely defended the move as “a business decision.”
Trump is the first GOP candidate to make public remarks on the controversy.