The man who raised the price of a common drug for HIV patients by 5,455% might be having some karma on his way after a rival company has vowed to make a $1 alternative of the same medication.
Last month, 32-year-old Martin Shkreli spent his 15 minutes of fame being the most hated man in America for upping the price of the life-saving medicine Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Thanks to the absence of price caps on medicine in the United States, this meant Shrekli’s company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, was able to increase the cost of the medicine after purchasing its manufacturing rights.
However, San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Thursday it will soon be offering customized versions of the medicine in the form of an oral capsule for less than $1 a pill.
Both medicines treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease that commonly affects people with weakened immune systems, such as those with AIDS. The newer, cheaper pill will use formulations of the active ingredients pyrimethamine and leucovorin customized to the patient's needs. However, unlike Daraprim, the Imprimis medication will not be FDA approved.
In a statement, Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis, said, “It is indisputable that generic drug prices have soared recently. 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 also added: “We are here to serve our patients and their physicians. We believe that when we do a great job serving our customers, our shareholders will also benefit.”
Shkreli did an AMA on Reddit this weekend where he faced questions on the price hike and the ensuing global backlash.
US Uncut attempted to get a comment from Shkreli on the development. His response was “lol.”