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CEO at the center of controversial drug price increase arrested

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Martin Shkreli is the former Wall Street guy who now leads a pharmaceutical company -- and recently raised the price on a long-existing drug called Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 overnight. The drug, which fights parasitic infections, cost AIDS patients 55 times more than before.

NEW YORK (AP) _ Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is in custody following a securities probe.

Calls to an attorney that has represented Shkreli in the past were not immediately returned. His arrest was confirmed Thursday by FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser.

A furor over the staggering price hike triggered multiple government investigations and pledges from politicians to rein in soaring prescription drug prices. Those include newly approved medicines costing around $100,000 a year and some old, formerly cheap generics.

Rising pharmaceutical prices has become a topic in the upcoming U.S. presidential race.

AP-WF-12-17-15 1345GMT