The San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals announced on Thursday that they have developed an alternative to the $750 drug Daraprim, and it will only cost about $1 per pill.

 

Martin Shkreli stands in a window

CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli (NY Daily News)

Turing Pharmaceuticals started a big controversy in September, after they increased the price of their toxoplasmosis medication Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Many were outraged at the company for increasing the price of this life-saving medication by around 5,000 percent overnight. After Turing’s CEO, Martin Shkreli, was faced with a storm of negative PR following the price hike, he said the company would decrease the drug’s cost. Shkreli made this promise over a month ago, but Daraprim’s price tag has yet to be lowered.

 

Imprimis’ move to produce a more affordable drug could be damaging to Turing’s image. Not only is this new pill much cheaper than Daraprim’s increased price, but it’s also more affordable than the drug’s original cost. This has caused many to further question Turing’s decision to drastically increase the drug’s price, especially if it’s financially viable for a company to sell the pill for a dollar.            

 

While Imprimis’ new drug does treat toxoplasmosis, it’s not a complete copy of Daraprim. Both of the drugs contain the ingredient pyrimethamine, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis. The new pill differs with its ingredient leucovorin, which Imprimis claims can aid in reversing the negative effects that pyrimethamine has on the user’s bone marrow. Imprimis’ new drug may be a big rival to Turing’s Daraprim, but the company has shown nothing but respect for its competitor.   

 

“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,” said Mark Baum, CEO of Imprimis.  

 

Turing has yet to respond to Imprimis’ announcement, but they may need to react soon if they want their product to stay relevant. If Turing reduces the cost of Daraprim to a price that can compete with Imprimis’ drug, then they may have a shot at keeping their brand alive.  

 

How will Turing respond to this new drug? Will they reduce the cost of Daraprim? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.