Martin Shkreli named Pfizer CEO

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – In a move that has surprised investors, former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was named the CEO of drugmaker Pfizer on Friday. The announcement comes just days before the Fortune 500 company is expected to announce a record-breaking third quarter profits.

Best known for founding Turning Pharmaceuticals and investing heavily in the AIDS treatment Daraprim, Shkreli, affectionately known as PharmaBro, has become legendary within the drug industry for taking a unique approach to research and development as well as marketing. “He’s a polarizing figure, but he’s sure to bring the same excitement and innovation to Pfizer as he did his former companies Turing and Retrophin,” said CNBC Business Analyst Jim Cramer.

Shkreli’s first order of business after taking the helm of the pharmaceutical giant was to raise the price of the Covid-`19 vaccination by over 400% per dose. “Our Covid-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent contracting the coronavirus,” explained Shkreli when questioned about the justification for the price-hike. “Raising the price from $30 to $130 per dose will ensure that we’re able to make the shot safer and even more effective. Hey, someone has to pay for the research, right?”

To further bolster profits, Shkreli announced his intention to acquire the pain-relief drug Oxycontin from Purdue Pharma in an effort to make the much sought-after drug more accessible and affordable. “People living in pain shouldn’t have to empty their bank account to get relief,” said Shkreli, adding “which is why we will make vital drugs like Oxycontin and Viagra free, or almost free for up to three-quarters of Americans.” When asked about the financial viability of such steep discounts, Shkreli explained that the costs would be offset by 50-fold price increases on cancer treatment drugs such as Ibrance and Retacrit. “Sure we may have to tighten our belt in some areas, but this pricing structure will create new lifelong customers, and that will have a big payoff in the end.”

Investors reacted positively to the news causing Pfizer’s stock price to jump over 800% on Friday. “Love him or hate him, Martin Shkreli is going to add some excitement to the pharmaceutical industry,” said CNN’s Chris Godzilla. “No one had heard of Turing or Daraprim before Martin came along, and I think his addition to the company will give Pfizer a much-need PR boost.”

“To remain the industry-leader in the pharmaceutical space, we need a bold approach,” said Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Sally Susman, adding “and no one is bolder than Martin Shkreli. His commitment to research and development as well as creative pricing-schemes will be a tremendous asset to Pfizer. He also agreed to let us all listen to his Wu-Tang Clan record, which is pretty cool.”

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