Martin Shkreli, the guy behind the 4,000% price increase of a drug that treats a deadly parasitic infection and is used by AIDS and cancer patients, wanted to hug it out with Bernie Sanders, the guy who launched an investigation into the increase and called the Turing Pharmaceuticals executive's price-gauging "unconscionable." (In response to widespread public shaming, Shkreli agreed to reduce the price of Daraprim, but has defended his original decision to raise it from from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.)
In an apparent effort to get a meeting with the Democratic presidential candidate, who is also an open critic of the pharmaceutical industry's profit model and introduced legislation to address drug price hikes, Shkreli donated $2,700 to his campaign—the maximum contribution an individual can make.
Sanders didn't bite. (And Judging from Friday's FEC filings, he doesn't have to: Sanders pulled in $20 million in small donations this quarter, as well as $6 million in large donations.)
On Thursday, the Vermont senators' campaign announced that he wouldn't be meeting with Shkreli, and wouldn't be taking his money, either. “We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed,” Sanders spokesperson Michael Briggs told the Boston Globe. Instead, the campaign will give the donation to a Washington health clinic, Briggs said.
This made Shkreli kind of mad.
Instead of having an intelligent discussion on healthcare @BernieSanders would rather hold his hands over his ears and be a demagogue…
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 15, 2015
Earlier this week, Democratic presidential debate moderator Anderson Cooper asked the candidates about the enemy they were most proud of making in their careers. “I would lump Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry at the top of my list of people who do not like me," Sanders replied.
Clearly, the feeling is mutual.