Bernie Sanders Says NO To Donation From ‘Poster Boy For Drug Company Greed’ Shkreli

Martin Shkreli, or “Pharma Bro” as he has become known, is a greedy, egotistical sh*thead. Last month, after the former hedge funder’s company bought the rights to the drug Daraprim — which is often used to treat issues related to AIDS and cancer — Shkreli had the bright idea that a lot of research could be done money could be made if the company raised the price on the drug by 5,500 percent.

Shkreli quickly became the face of pharmaceutical companies’ greed. No matter how much he tried to justify the price rise from $13.50 (more than 12 times the cost of production) to $750 per pill as “underpriced” when compared to other medications patients would likely also need, it seemed that Shkreli was determined to persist in his crooked claims that he was simply overcharging so he could research medication to replace Daraprim (which had been successful in its purpose for decades) with another drug for which he would likely overcharge.

Shortly after Shkreli’s stunt, Bernie Sanders announced an investigation into the practices of the biotech industry — and, specifically, of Shkreli’s company  (hours later, Clinton promised a plan to deal with price gouging the following day, which sent biotech stocks plummeting faster than a Republican’s poll numbers after acknowledging that black lives might have a little bit of value). Since Sanders and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings began their investigation, Shkreli (who has promised to lower the price of Daraprim an unspecified amount at an unspecified point in the future) became a bit fixated on the Vermont Senator and 2016 presidential hopeful.

Earlier this month, Shkreli even challenged Sanders to a duel (of the minds). Accusing the incredibly snuggly Socialist of being “misinformed,” the man who thinks profits outweigh lives in importance claimed Sanders “doesn’t understand healthcare.” The sniveling biotech newbie then challenged Sanders to a debate rather than “relying on soundbites and cheap shots.”

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Shkreli’s challenge was, of course, ignored. But what is one to do when he is used to getting everything he wants and his demands are ignored? After all, the gauntlet was already dropped, so to speak.

So, Shkreli resorted to a practice that is entirely legal, yet shadier than a 100-foot-tall Nixon. Unfortunately, he apparently knows nothing of Sanders, who regularly speaks out against campaign finance laws that allow what amounts to legalized bribery — because Shkreli tried exactly that.

Apparently really wanting that debate and completely under the rather delusional impression that Sanders can be bought, Shkreli said on Thursday that he had donated $2,700 — the maximum individual contribution — to Sanders’ campaign on September 28. This donation apparently went unnoticed by the campaign, which sent Shkreli an automated, standard “thank you” e-mail.

On Thursday, Sanders campaign spokesman Michael Briggs said that the 2016 hopeful will not be keeping the money. Instead, the Sanders camp will be donating the money to the Whitman-Walker health clinic in Washington. Briggs explained:

“We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed.”

Shkreli says he genuinely wants Sanders to have the money because he supports some of the candidate’s other proposals — just not the ones which could cause him some difficulty personally, like allowing patients to order drugs from other countries where prices are lower. His most important motive, of course, was to get some time with Sanders to give the Vermont Senator a piece of his incredibly douchey mind.

“Pharma Bro” says that he wants to explain to Sanders why the drug companies set their prices the way that they do, and that he is “furious” Sanders is “using him as a punching bag” without hearing him out:

“I think it’s cheap to use one person’s action as a platform without kind of talking to that person. He’ll take my money, but he won’t engage with me for five minutes to understand this issue better.”

Shkreli told the Boston Globe what he would speak to Sanders about if he were to get the meeting he tried to buy:

“I’d ask him, what role does innovation play in health care? Is he willing to sort of accept that there is a tradeoff, that to take risks for innovation, companies have to invest lots of money and they need some kind of return for that, and what does he think that should look like?

And quite frankly, what I’m worried [about] is that he doesn’t have an answer for that, that he’s appealing to the masses, that he’s just kind of talking out of his rear end so that he gets some votes.”

In Sanders is successful in attaining some regulation in the pharmaceutical industry, Shkreli says he will simply find other ways to bilk the ailing and dying. “Right now the rule of law in the United States is that drug companies can price their products wherever they see fit, not wherever he sees fit,” Shkreli said. “If the rule changes by congressional vote, then you know, I’ll adapt to the rules.”

The Sanders campaign, unsurprisingly, says Shkreli can go f*ck himself its candidate absolutely will not be meeting with Shkreli.


Featured image via BernieSanders.com/DeadState