The $750-per-dose Daraprim medication sold by Turing Pharmaceuticals is now to be sold for only $1 by Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, after the price hike for the drug sparked widespread anger and outbursts from all corners of the US and beyond - according to Fox News.
Imprimis is based in San Diego and makes compound drugs, or mixes the active ingredients to meet the medical needs of individual patients who have physician prescriptions. The company said it is willing to produce Daraprim’s active ingredients pyrimethamine and leucovorin in capsule forms to patients for $99 per 100-capsule bottle.
"We are looking at all of these cases where the sole-source generic companies are jerking the price way up," said Imprimis CEO Mark Baum. "There'll be many more of these" compounded drugs coming in the near future for generic drugs with skyrocketed prices. His company is only three and half years old.
Prescription drugs for cancer and other rare diseases cost thousands of dollars per year in the US, and generic drugs are also rising in price – something that is fast generating a lot of debate in the ongoing 2016 presidential race.
Turing Pharmaceutical is not the only company that has bought the rights to old and inexpensive drugs for cancer and other rare conditions, then hiked the costs, other drugmakers such as Valeant Pharmaceuticals are also accused. The development is generating official investigations, media attention, and bioteck stock slumps.
CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and former hedge fund manager, Martin Shkreli, paid Impax Laboratories $55 million in August for rights to Daraprim, and then hiked the price by over 5,000%. Daraprim is made to treat toxoplasmosis, a rare parasitic infection that affects pregnant women, cancer patients, and AIDS patients.
A company that develops only compounded drugs for cataracts and urological conditions, Imprimis is determined to partner with health insurers and other health experts in all US states to make Daraprim and other compounded generic drug versions available to everybody everywhere.
"We're geared up. We're ready to go as soon as the orders come in," Baum said.
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Compounded drugs are made when a doctor needs to prescribe drugs for an individual patient, due to unavailability of the main drug or when a patient requires customized formulations and dosages. Pharmaceuticals do not need approval from the FDA to mix these generic drugs, while conventional drugmakers do for large batches.