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Price-hiking pharma exec Martin Shkreli gets House subpoena

Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli.

CBS News

Last Updated Jan 20, 2016 6:08 PM EST

WASHINGTON -- House lawmakers have issued a subpoena to compel former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, reviled for price-gouging, to appear at a congressional hearing next Tuesday.

An aide to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform confirmed the news Wednesday. The committee is investigating several companies for exorbitant drug price increases.

Shkreli became notorious for hiking the price of Daraprim, the only approved drug for a rare and sometimes deadly parasitic infection, by 5,000 percent. Since then, Shkreli has been deluged with criticism from patients, politicians and the media, some calling him the "most hated man in America."

Shkreli tweeted Wednesday afternoon about the subpoena, saying House members were "whining to healthcare reporters about me appearing for their chit chat next week."

Last month, the 32-year-old former hedge fund manager was arrested in New York and charged with securities fraud and conspiracy. The charges stem from another pharmaceutical company he previously ran called Retrophin.

Prosecutors said Shkreli ran his companies "like a Ponzi scheme." U.S. Attorney Robert Capers told reporters that Shkreli weaved an "outrageous web of lies and deceit" to make the scheme work.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

On the Senate floor Wednesday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), chair of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and ranking member Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) said Shkreli has asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege in response to a separate subpoena for documents he was issued by their panel last month.

Both senators said he was improperly asserting his Fifth Amendment rights, given their inquiry into his company's pharmaceutical business ostensibly doesn't have anything to do with his securities fraud case.