Due due to the weekend blizzard that has paralyzed travel on the East Coast, House lawmakers have rescheduled a hearing to question former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, reviled for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug.
Staffers for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said the hearing, which had been set for Tuesday, will take place Feb. 4 instead. The House of Representatives postponed all votes this week due to the storm.
A federal judge on Monday also modified the conditions of Shkreli's bail to allow him to travel to Washington D.C., to testify at the hearing.
Lawmakers subpoenaed Shkreli—who has taunted them for weeks over Twitter—as part of a months-long probe into exorbitant drug pricing.
But his lawyer requested he be excused from attending the congressional hearing, since the terms of bail from an unrelated case forbid him from leaving New York.
Shkreli became the public face of corporate greed last fall, after his company hiked the price of Daraprim, the only approved drug for a rare and sometimes deadly parasitic infection, by 5,000%. Since then, the boyish entrepreneur has been deluged with criticism from patients, politicians and the media, with some labeling him the "most hated man in America."
Last month, the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy related to another pharmaceutical company he previously ran called Retrophin. Shkreli pleaded not guilty and was released on $5 million bail. He later resigned as CEO of Turing.
House lawmakers had pushed back against Shkreli's attempts to dodge the hearing, saying he had to make legal arrangements to comply with the subpoena.
The judge in the case decided Monday to allow Shkreli to travel to the hearing after the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said he would not object to such an allowance.
Public concerns about sky-high drug prices have been growing for years but boiled over last fall after reports about Turing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and a handful of other drugmakers jacking up the prices of old drugs many times over their prior cost.
Valeant drew Congress' interest following its purchase of the two life-saving heart drugs, Nitropress and Isuprel. The company, known for gobbling up smaller drugmakers to get their products and then slashing jobs and research programs, hiked the drugs' prices shortly after buying them from Marathon Pharmaceuticals in February, tripling one and raising the other six-fold.
The committee will also hear testimony from Turing's chief commercial officer, Nancy Retzlaff, Valeant Pharmaceutical's interim CEO, Howard Schiller, and experts from government and the private sector.
A spokeswoman for Quebec-based Valeant said the company has provided information, including documents, to the committee.
Daraprim, which Turing acquired in August, is the only approved drug for a life-threatening parasitic infection that mainly strikes pregnant women, cancer patients and AIDS patients. Amid mounting criticism from patients, doctors and politicians, Shkreli pledged to lower Daraprim's price, but later reneged and instead offered hospitals a 50 percent discount — still amounting to a 2,500 percent increase.
Both Turing and Valeant have received multiple subpoenas from federal prosecutors seeking information about drug pricing and other business practices.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.