Last month, Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked global outrage when CEO Martin Shkreli raised the price of a drug called Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750. Luckily, the medication is old enough that there are no trademark restrictions on it, so other companies are free to develop an identical medication at a lower price.
It took roughly one month for a competitor to come on the scene and offer a lower price.
This week, the San Diego based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it would be offering an alternative for roughly $1 per pill, or $99 for a 100-pill supply.
Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis, said in a statement that, “It is indisputable that generic drug prices have soared recently. While we have seen an increase in costs associated with regulatory compliance, recent generic drug price increases have made us concerned and caused us to take positive action to address an opportunity to help a needy patient population. 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. 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. In response to this recent case and others that we will soon identify, Imprimis is forming a new program called Imprimis Cares which is aligned to our corporate mission of making novel and customizable medicines available to physicians and patients today at accessible prices.”
The company also announced that they will be making identical versions of expensive drugs so they are more affordable.
The statement went on to say that “Today, some drug prices are simply out of control and we believe we may be able to help control costs by offering compounded alternatives to several sole source legacy generic drugs. Imprimis Cares and its team of compounding pharmacists will work with physicians and their patients to ensure they have affordable access to the medicines they need from the over 7,800 generic FDA-approved drugs. Imprimis Cares, available in all 50 states, will work with all third party insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and buying groups to offer its patient specific customizable compounded drug formulations at prices that ensure accessibility and that provide a reasonable profit for Imprimis. We are here to serve our patients and their physicians. We believe that when we do a great job serving our customers, our shareholders will also benefit.”
Imprimis said that they were inspired to provide an alternative after last month’s price increase of Daraprim.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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