Daraprim Alternative

A specialty pharmaceuticals company announces plans to produce a toxoplasmosis drug containing the same active ingredient as the pill at the center of an ongoing drug-pricing controversy.

Oct 22, 2015
Tracy Vence

WIKIMEDIA, SLASHME While Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli said his firm would lower the price of its toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim following a controversial price hike, he didn’t say by how much or when. But some patients may not have to wait much longer for a low-cost alternative to the $750-per-pill treatment. San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals today (October 22) announced that it would make a compounded drug formulation containing Daraprim’s active ingredient, pyrimethamine, available for less than $1 per pill—close to what the treatment cost before Turing acquired rights to Daraprim from CorePharma. Physicians can prescribe such compounded drug formulations when commercially available drugs do not meet the needs of a given patient, in accordance with federal and state law, Imprimis explained.

“This is not the first time a sole supply generic drug—especially one that has been approved for use as long as Daraprim—has had its price increased suddenly and to a level that may make it unaffordable,” Imprimis CEO Mark Baum said in the statement. “While we respect Turing’s right to charge patients and insurance companies whatever it believes is appropriate, there may be more cost-effective compounded options for medications, such as Daraprim, for patients, physicians, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to consider.”

Hat tip: Ars Technica