Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Martin Shkreli Resigns as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals

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After radically increasing the price a drug that can be a lifesaver for those with HIV, and later being arrested for securities fraud unrelated to his price-gouging, Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli has resigned.

Shkreli was hauled away in handcuffs Thursday in New York after being accused of a complicated shell game relating to another company he ran, involving secret payments and deceptive arrangements, all in an effort to pay off personal debts. Shkreli was previously accused of illegally using company stock for nonbusiness uses. The board of that company, Retrophin, ousted him and slapped him with a lawsuit. The 32-year-old executive formally quit Turing Friday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Ron Tilles, chairman of Turing's board of directors, will run the company on an interim basis.

The world became aware of Shkreli when he aquired the rights to Daraprim this summer and almost immediately raised the price by 5,000 percent, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. Daraprim is essential in treating toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can result in headaches, confusion, poor coordination, seizures, lung problems, and blurred vision. The infection can be fatal in people with compromised immune systems, including those with HIV or cancer.

Everyone from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump blasted Shkreli's price increase, which he described as a smart business move. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders rejected Shkreli's donation of $2,700, giving it to an HIV clinic instead.

With Shkreli gone, the Human Rights Campaign wants to know whether Turing will now lower the price of Daraprim.

“We hope that Martin Shkreli's departure will mark the end of Turing Pharmaceuticals' reckless price hikes on life-saving medications,” Olivia Alair Dalton, HRC’s Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, said in a statement. “Turing’s interim CEO Ron Tilles should immediately roll back the company's unconscionable 5,000 percent price hike on Daraprim, a crucial treatment for many pregnant women and people living with HIV, and restore the drug to its original cost.”

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