San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals has created an alternative drug to Daraprim, the drug used to treat HIV and cancer patients whose rights were bought by Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals and subsequently raised from $13.50 per pill to $750.
The best part of Imprimis’ medication? It only costs $1. Mark L. Baum, Imprimis’ CEO, said in a news release:
“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.”
Imprimis’ new drug is very similar to Daraprim, whose main active ingredient is pyrimethamine. Imprimis’s drug contains pyrimethamine as well as leucovorin, which helps to reverse pyrimethamine’s negative effects on bone marrow. Before Imprimis’s drug, Turing Pharmaceuticals was the only source for the drug, which is used for patients with compromised immune systems due to cancer or HIV.
Imprimis’s product is their direct response to Shkreli’s seemingly unreasonable price hike on Daraprim. The company also announced that they will be producing affordable versions of 7,800 generic FDA-approved drugs under their initiative Imprimis Cares.