Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave his opinion on Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager whose pharmaceutical company recently raised the price of a more than 60-year-old drug used by AIDS and cancer patients to an exorbitant amount, at a press conference Sept. 23 in South Carolina.
“He looks like a spoiled brat to me,” Trump said, referring to Shkreli.
Shkreli is Chief Executive Officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that recently bought the rights to the medication Daraprim, the brand name for pyrimethamine, a drug considered to be essential by the World Health Organization. Daraprim is used to treat Toxoplasmosis, the second most common food-borne disease contracted by AIDS and cancer patients.
Upon buying the rights to the drug, Turing raised the price of the medication by more than 5,500 percent, Opposing Views reported.
Daraprim used to cost $13.50 per pill; the new price was set at $750 per pill.
"That guy is nothing," Trump said of Shkreli. "He's zero. He's nothing. He ought to be ashamed of himself."
The backlash Shkreli received after the price hike was enormous, causing many to refer to him as “the most hated man in America.”
Shkreli has since agreed to lower the price of Daraprim to a more “affordable” amount, CNN reports. He would not state exactly what he considers to be "affordable."
Following his comments on Shkreli, Trump touched upon the fact that the now pharmaceutical CEO is a former hedge fund manager — the only people he wants to raise taxes on, Business Insider reports.
"And he's a hedge-fund guy, who, as you know — the only one that I'm raising taxes on. They are going to be paying up," Trump said, referring to his plan to eliminate the “carried interest” loophole hedge fund managers benefit from.
"But I thought it was a disgusting thing, what he did," Trump added. "I thought it was a disgrace."