- The largest U.S. pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts, announced on Tuesday its intentions to partner with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals for a $1-per-pill Daraprim (pyrimethamine) substitute.
- Daraprim has increased in price to $750 per tablet from $13.50 after being acquired by Turing Pharma.
- Express Scripts' CEO, Steven Miller, said this move could save millions of dollars per year. While only 350 patients covered by Express Scripts were prescribed Daraprim last year, treatment can quickly become expensive because of the length of time patients take the drug.
Turing Pharmaceuticals, led by Martin Shkreli, acquired Daraprim (pyrimethamine) from Impax Labs this past August. One month later, Turing increased the price of the 62 year-old drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
In October, San Diego-based compounder Imprimis announced that it had successfully formulated an inexpensive substitute for Daraprim. Although Imprimis' compounded version of Daraprim is not FDA-approved, it purchases the main ingredient (pyrimethamine) from manufacturers inspected by and registered with the FDA.
Turing responded by highlighting the lack of FDA approval and citing its efforts to bring the price of Daraprim down. The company recently announced discounts for hospitals and a patient assistance program. These moves, however, did not dissuade Express Scripts from making other plans.