Label is owned and run by No Devotion frontman Geoff Rickly
Collect Records label have severed ties with one of their investors, the controversial former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli who recently made headlines by buying the rights to life-saving drug Daraprim and significantly increasing the cost for users.
Shkreli’s company Turing Pharmaceuticals was criticised after it purchased the rights to Daraprim and raised the cost of the drug by 5,000 per cent – from $13.50 a tablet to $750. Daraprim is a medication used to help treat malaria and infections suffered by HIV-positive patients.
Collect Records is run by No Devotion and Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly. Music fan Shkreli was recently revealed to be a major investor behind the label. Following the uproar, Collect Records have now issued a statement confirming that they have parted ways with Shkreli.
The statement reads, “Today, Collect Records – with the support and encouragement of all of our artists – have agreed to fully sever our relationship with Martin Shkreli, effective immediately.”
“When I decided to get into business with Martin, we took him on as a patron. He was completely silent and allowed us to do business as we pleased. His only ask was that we sign bands that we believed could make great art given the right environment and not to focus on a profit, no matter how dire the bottom line.”
“Never in a million years did any of us expect to wake up to the news of the scandal that he is now involved in. It blindsided and upset us on every level. As such, we know it is impossible for us to continue having any ties with him. For my part, I’ve always strived to make Collect a place that was so liberal, encouraging, and artist-friendly that no-one would ever walk away from us willingly, though to do so at any time would be very easy. To that end, I hope that our bands continue to believe in our guidance and passion. Any of them that have had an incurable crisis of confidence will be allowed to leave with nothing but the kind of encouragement that we’ve built our label on.”
“For all the kind words of encouragement that I’ve received over the past two days, I’m forever grateful,” the statement concluded.
Shkreli initially defended his actions, stating that the drug is so rarely used that the price increase will not have a huge impact. “This isn’t the greedy drug company trying to gouge patients, it is us trying to stay in business,” he said. “This is still one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world. It really doesn’t make sense to get any criticism for this.”
Shkreli later backtracked and has since announced his decision to lower the cost of Daraprim. He told CNBC: “There were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action, I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people. I think in the society we live in today it is easy to want to villainise people, and obviously we are in an election cycle where this is very tough topic for people and very sensitive. And I understand the outrage.”
No Devotion, a band comprising of Rickly plus the former members of Lostprophets, release their debut album ‘Permanence’ via Collect Records this Friday (September 25).