US & Canada

Martin Shkreli raffles off a chance to punch him in the face

Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli smiles on Capitol Hill in Washington. Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Shkreli says he's raising money for a deceased friend's family

Martin Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who came under fire for price-gouging, has auctioned off a chance to punch him in the face.

Mr Shkreli said that he would take a blow from the winner of an online raffle, which is raising proceeds for the family of a deceased friend.

Donors receive raffle tickets based on how much they contribute, he said.

Mr Shkreil first made headlines after raising the price of an Aids drug by more than 5,000%.

He first announced the campaign on Twitter on Monday following the death of his public relations consultant, Mike Kulich, who died on Saturday morning.

Who is Martin Shkreli?

"I will auction one slap/punch in the face to benefit my friend Mike who passed away & leaves behind a young son who survived cancer," he wrote on Twitter.

The former hedge fund manager later tweeted he had received bids of $78,000 (£57,619) and $25,000 before listing the offer on auction site eBay.

The site shut down the auction listing and Mr Shkreli again announced the offer through a Give Forward charitable campaign, adding that the donors were entered into a raffle for the chance to punch him.

Image copyright Twitter

He said the proceeds would benefit Mr Kulich's son, Tyler, who recently finished chemotherapy for acute lymphocytic leukaemia.

Mr Shkreli, who has been described as a "morally bankrupt sociopath", a "scumbag" a "garbage monster", first sparked outrage last year after his company raised the price of Daraprim, used by many Aids patients, from $13.50 per pill to $750.

He was also arrested in December on allegations of securities fraud and subsequently stepped down as the head of Turing. His trial is set for 26 June next year.

Mr Shkreli again came under fire in February, when he refused to answer questions from a Congressional committee on Turing's drug pricing policy.

After the hearing, Mr Shkreli took to Twitter to call the members of Congress "imbeciles".

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