What Goes Around Comes Around for "Pharma Bros"


Christmas came a week early for this column when Martin Pharma-bro" Shkreli was arrested by the FBI.

Christmas came a week early for this column when Martin “Pharma-bro” Shkreli was arrested by the FBI.

Shkreli denies the accusation that he managed a hedge fund he had headed like a Ponzi scheme, blaming his over-the-top persona and raising the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill as the reasons for his arrest.

He is probably correct about the Daraprim price gouge. A maneuver like that in broad daylight would probably raise the eyebrows of those in the FBI who watch these sorts of things.

With a little digging, the FBI compiled enough evidence to accuse Shkreli of securities exchange fraud. It appears highly possible that what goes around is indeed coming back around and landing right in Shkreli’s lap.

Shkreli now faces a charge that could mean up to 20 years in prison. Should he be found guilty, I’m sure that he’ll hire a Harvard pit bull lawyer to get that knocked down. It is the way things work for the wealthy, and with an estimated net worth of $100 million, Shkreli is definitely part of that demographic.

In this season of giving, Shkreli serves as a prime example of avarice. The money-changing house in A Christmas Carol could have been called Scrooge, Marley, and Shkreli.

Mankind should have been his business, but instead he saw it as an opportunity to prey upon the desperate. That alone should be a crime, but in a country of free market enterprise, it is considered by some to be just another day at the office.

If one is to become involved in operating a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, it should be a requirement of the federal government to have taken and passed an ethics course with at least an 85 average. Pharmacists take ethics classes, and we should be looked upon as the first choice to run a pharmaceutical company.

I’m not saying that every pharmacist practices ethically. Heaven knows that on an almost weekly basis, you can read about a brother or sister in the craft who has fallen to the dark side.

The love of money can make people do horrendous things, but I’d be willing to bet that pharmacists have a deeper ethics pool than most other professions.

If the Ghosts of Christmas are listening, I hope they pay Shkreli a visit this year. May he be shown that what was once his job should have been of service, not of greed.

If Shkreli did commit the crimes of which he is accused, may he have an epiphany, own up to what he did, and pay his criminal and financial debts to those he has wronged. May he grow up a bit and face his actions like a man and not a “Pharma bro.”

The pharmaceutical industry has no room for “bros.” It requires people with ethics and compassion, though they seem to be harder to find.

Jay Sochoka, RPh, is no “Pharma bro”

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