San Diego company slaps ‘Pharma Bro’ down by offering same cancer drug for $1 a pill
A San Diego-based company announced on Thursday that it would compete with Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals by offering the same drug used to help AIDS and cancer patients for $1 a pill, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a compounding-drug firm, said it would begin selling its own version of the generic drug pyrimethamine, which Turing was marketing under the name Daraprim. Shkreli was roundly criticized last month after his company raised the price for the drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill after acquiring the patent.
The version Imprimis will be selling includes pyrimethamine and another generic drug, leucovorin, which is typically used to help cancer patients going through chemotherapy. The two drugs are the active ingredients in Daraprim.
Mark Baum, Imprimis’ CEO, said his company plans to offer similar compounded drugs soon.
“We are looking at all of these cases where the sole-source generic companies are jacking the price way up,” he told the Associated Press. “There’ll be many more of these.”
According to Baum, his company’s mix of the two drugs has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. However, both the ingredients themselves and the company’s compounding work have been approved. The drug can only be sold after being prescribed by a doctor to a specific individual. The company is selling a bottle of 100 pills for $99 through its website.