Harvard Students Protest Ex-Pharma Exec Martin Shkreli's Talk

Harvard University students protested a campus appearance by controversial former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli on Wednesday night.

The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals talked about investing at an event organized by the Harvard Financial Analysts Club.

One student group said the appearance "promotes and glorifies murderous financial practices." It organized a rally and a separate "teach-in" about pharmaceutical price-gouging.

Opponents encouraged speech attendees to "audibly disrupt and walk out of the event."

"He's just a symptom of a very sick system," said protester Shayla Partridge. "We are a little disappointed that the financial club on campus would theoretically want to learn from the people they bring in, want to learn from him. We found that to be questionable."

As the event was set to take place, the fire alarm went off in the building sending everyone outside. Attendees were let back in the building about 20 minutes later.

Chris Bartley said he came out in support of Shkreli.

"He's an interesting guy. He does Facebook lives every night and you get to know him," Bartley said. 

Shkreli was criticized after his company purchased a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients to fight parasitic infections and dramatically raised its price.

He is free on $5 million bail pending his federal securities fraud trial in an unrelated case. He has pleaded not guilty.

Shkreli also is scheduled to speak at UMass-Boston Thursday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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