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Everyone and their mother is weighing in on former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, especially after he plead the fifth during his testimony in a Congressional heading on Thursday.

The latest addition to the debate comes from athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush, who told CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla that he would “fight and die for Shkreli’s right to be a douche,” but that he was definitely “being a douche.”

Athenahealth provides cloud-based services for health care and point-of-care mobile apps.

Shkreli infamously bought a life-saving AIDS drug called Daraprim and raised the price 5,000%.

Bush — who is known for his colorful commentary and quirky salesmanship — has his reasons for why Shkreli has a “right to be a douche.” 

“It’s got a very Soviet-like feel the way they’re criminalizing that guy [Shkreli]. He’s not the most charming guy I’ve ever seen in my life… I don’t like the fact that now his jerki-ness is becoming a matter of public policy. Same thing true on the payer side,” he said.

Quintanilla then asked if Bush was legitimizing Shkreli’s pricing structure.

“Here’s how it works… it would be easier if there were many buyers and not just one, because then some of the buyers could say ‘hey fangool’ I’m not including you in my benefit. But when it becomes a mandate from the people, your negotiation power goes way down because this kid’s got this invention and he’s like, ‘well do you want it or not?’ If some people actually said ‘not,’ he would be forced to behave a little better. But since it’s illegal for anyone to say ‘not’, he gets to be a jerk.” 

Pricing, he said, should be about how much their drug can decrease the number of days a patient spends in a hosptial — costing the system money. If you can cut the days, you should “be able to charge whatever you want.”

“That’s a market,” he said.

Here’s the quick clip via Quintanilla’s Twitter feed.

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Business Insider » Finance

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