Ig Nobellian Milken, junk-bond king, now crusades for cures

Michael Milken, who was awarded the 1991 Ig Nobel Prize for economics, has become a crusader for medical legislation and funding.

The Ig Nobel prize cited Milken as “father of the junk bond, to whom the world is indebted“. Sheila Kaplan, reporting for STAT, profiles Milken’s recent activities:

WASHINGTON — Nearly 1,200 lobbyists roamed the halls of Congress this year, trying to shape legislation to speed up the federal approval of new drugs and expand medical research. But the advocate who arguably has had the biggest impact on the process isn’t a registered lobbyist at all. It’s onetime junk bond king Michael Milken.

A 1980s icon of excess, Milken pleaded guilty in 1990 to six criminal charges stemming from securities transactions. He was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison, ultimately serving 22 months and paying $1.1 billion in fines and settlements.

But that was then. Today, after years building a reputation as one of the nation’s leading medical philanthropists, Milken has quietly added politics to his portfolio.

He has pushed his agenda with a muted public presence, one that stresses quiet messaging over press releases and networking over campaign contributions. His goal is passage of the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill that would accelerate regulators’ review of new medical treatments and boost funding for the National Institutes of Health by nearly $9 billion over five years….