Imprimis releases low-cost Daraprim alternative
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of proprietary compounded drug therapies, has made a customizable, compounded formulation of pyrimethamine and leucovorin available for physicians to consider prescribing for their patients as a low-cost alternative to Daraprim.
Last month, Turing Pharmaceuticals, the sole supplier of Daraprim, increased the price of the prescription drug from $13.50 per tablet to a reported $750 per tablet. The FDA-approved label for Daraprim indicates that it is prescribed for toxoplasmosis and other types of infections. Toxoplasmosis can be of major concern for patients with weakened immune systems such as patients with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women and children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pyrimethamine works to block folic acid synthesis in the parasite T. gondii, the cause of toxoplasmosis, and leucovorin helps to reverse the negative effects on bone marrow caused by that mechanism of action.
Imprimis now is offering customizable compounded formulations of pyrimethamine and leucovorin in oral capsules starting as low as $99 for a 100-count bottle, or at a cost of under a dollar per capsule. Compounded medications may be appropriate for prescription when a commercially available medicine does not meet the specific needs of a patient.
Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis, said, “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.”