Here’s a big ol’ shocker: Martin Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals is reportedly reneging on its pledge to reduce the price of Daraprim, the parasitic infection medication whose price they hiked to $750 per tablet back in August.
Instead, the small biotech company is reducing what it charges hospitals, by up to 50 percent, for its parasitic infection treatment, Daraprim. Most patients’ copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month. But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs.
Daraprim is the “preferred treatment” for toxoplasmosis, which is a particular danger to people with weakened immune systems. Shameless dickhead and garbage human Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing, bought up the rights to the drug, which has been around for more than six decades, and hiked the price through the roof, from $13.50 to $750 per tablet.
The lowered hospital price won’t mean much to patients, according to Dr. Carlos del Rio, chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, who says most patients are treated at home “for a couple months,” during which time they’ll be on the hook for the whole enchilada.
But! You will remember, back on October 22, a compound pharmacy in San Diego announced plans to manufacture and sell orders of Daraprim for $0.99 per pill. Imprimis, in undercutting Turing, was effectively reducing the price of a bottle of Daraprim from $75,000 to under a hundred bucks.
So, how’s Imprimis doing?
Imprimis Chief Executive Officer Mark Baum said Wednesday in an exclusive interview that orders are pouring in for its version of Daraprim from doctors and the company has dispensed more than 2,500 capsules since Oct. 22.
He’s now working with insurers to get them to cover Imprimis’ capsules and will be talking with federal health agencies and members of Congress about changing current rules to allow the Defense Department and government health programs such as Medicare to cover so-called compounded medicines.
Dr. Warren Dinges of the Seattle Infectious Diseases Clinic said he’s treating an HIV patient who got toxoplasmosis in his eye, damaging his vision. The man, an artist, tried to fill a prescription Dinges wrote for Daraprim but was told by his pharmacy that it wasn’t in stock and would cost about $27,000 for a month’s supply.
Dinges instead got Imprimis to make up a custom version for barely $100 per month.
Go to hell, Turing Pharmaceuticals.