You can punch Martin Shkreli, for a price

Martin Shkreli, the bad boy of the U.S. pharmaceuticals industry due to his jacking up of prescription drug prices, says he’ll let someone punch him in the face — for a donation.

Shkreli, who is scheduled to face a securities fraud trial in June 2017, tweeted Monday that he is auctioning off the right to punch or slap him in the face as a fundraiser following the death of a friend.

The late friend was Mike Kulich, Shkreli’s public relations consultant, who died on Sept. 24. Kulich left behind a young son who has survived a fight with leukemia.

Asked on Twitter if a donor can select someone else to deliver the blow, Shkreli replied, “yes.”

Shkreli said he would match donations “to a certain point.”

“Mike architected my publicity stunts I bet he is watching, smiling,” he tweeted, adding that the bids to punch or slap him had climbed into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Shkreli became the target of much anger among patients and U.S. politicians after his drug company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, jacked up the price of a drug needed for the treatment of a parasitic infection by more than 5,000 per cent to $750 US per pill.

He is to face trial on allegations that between 2009 and 2014 he used a Ponzi-like scheme in which he defrauded investors in the hedgefund MSMB Capital Management and that he misappropriated $11 million US in assets from Retrophin Inc, a biopharmaceutical company he founded and headed until 2014, to repay them.

Shkreli has pleaded not guilty to charges including securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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