There is at long last an alternative for people at greatest risk for toxoplasmosis, which disproportionately affects patients with HIV or AIDS. A pharmaceutical company is now selling a $1 medication which can be taken in place of the pill that made headlines when the price skyrocketed overnight to $750 per dose.
Previously, Daraprim was the only option to treat a specific complication, which can result in headaches, confusion, poor coordination, seizures, lung problems and blurred vision in patients, including those with HIV or AIDS.
Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is offering this alternative medicine to Daraprim. In a press release, officials of the company wrote that ther decision to offer this new drug was directly linked to the astronomical rise in cost of Daraprim, which was inflated in August, from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill — an increase of greater than 5,000 percent.
"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," stated Imprimis CEO, Mark L. Baum in the press release. "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," he stated.
"Today, some drug prices are simply out of control," Baum said, announcing his company has launched an initiative to work with pharmacies to offer compound alternatives to prevent price gouging. "We believe that when we do a great job serving our customers, our shareholders will also benefit," he added.
Daraprim CEO Martin Shkreli recently faced backlash over his decision to increase the cost of the drug with advocates calling for drug pricing reform. Turing is also being investigated by the New York State Attorney General for possibly violating anti-trust rules for restricting the distribution of the Daraprim.