Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, center, exits federal court in New York City on Dec. 17, 2015
Peter Foley—Bloomberg/Getty Images
December 21, 2015 2:32 AM EST

Controversial pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, arrested last week for alleged financial irregularities, said on Sunday that authorities unfairly targeted him because of his now infamous 55-fold increase in the price of a drug used to treat toxoplasmosis — a parasitic infection that poses serious problems for babies born to infected women, as well as to those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer or other conditions that lead to a compromised immune system.

Shkreli spoke to the Wall Street Journal in his first interview since his arrest on Thursday on suspicion of securities fraud and misleading investors.

“Beating the person up and then trying to find the merits to make up for it — I would have hoped the government wouldn’t take that kind of approach,” the 32-year-old told the Journal.

Shkreli caused massive public outrage when he raised the price of the antiparasitic drug Daraprim in September from $13.50 to $750 — a 5,000% increase.

The young, erstwhile chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, from which he resigned on Friday, added that his highly public persona and behavior on social media — which he called “teasing people over the Internet” — might have contributed to an arrest that he termed a “real injustice.”

Read the full interview here.


Read next: Creatures Like Martin Shkreli Only Thrive in a Swamp

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Write to Rishi Iyengar at

Read More From TIME
Related Stories