Punk Label Boots Drug CEO Over Un-Punk Price Gouging
'It blindsided and upset us on every level'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2015 4:18 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Former hedge-fund manager Martin Shkreli has been booted from the punk label he was bankrolling for doing one of the most un-punk things possible: jacking up the price of the drug that treats the potentially deadly parasitic infection toxoplasmosis by 5,000%, the Guardian reports. Shkreli became infamous this week after making headlines for raising the price of a single tablet of Daraprim, which his pharmaceutical company bought in August, from $13.50 to $750. “Though I want to believe there is some reason he would do this that is some remotely positive way, the only thing I can see is that it is totally and completely heartbreaking," Geoff Rickly, founder of Collect Records, tells Vice. According to the Washington Post, Shkreli became an investor in the record label after reaching out to Rickly; he was a fan of Rickly's old band, Thursday.

The Guardian reports Rickly, who says he's seen Shkreli donate to schools and charities, was completely caught off guard by what many are decrying as price gouging. “Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in," reads a statement from the record label. "It blindsided and upset us on every level." Two bands announced they would stop working with Collect Records if Shkreli stayed involved, while others took to social media to bash Shkreli, saying his actions were an example of "advantageous rich guy greed" and that people like him "walk across the backs of the sick and dying with a smile on their face for the sake of making a profit," according to the Post. Shkreli has said he will lower the price of Daraprim but has not specified by how much.