A customizable compounded formulation of pyrimethamine and leucovorin has been made available for prescription at the approximate price of $1 per pill, according to a press release from Imprimis Pharmaceuticals.
The treatment is a low-cost alternative to Daraprim (pyrimethamine, Turing Pharmaceuticals), the price of which was recently increased to $750 per tablet according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association. Imprimis’ finished compounded drug formulations are not approved by the FDA for recommended use, and are only to be prescribed to individually identified patients consistent with federal and state compounded drug formulation laws.
“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,” Mark L. Baum, JD, CEO of Imprimis, said in a press 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, for patients, physicians, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to consider.”
Imprimis also announced a program available throughout the United States. which would work with third party insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and buying groups to provide these compounded drug formulations at lowered prices.
“In response to this recent case and others that we will soon identify, Imprimis is forming a new program called Imprimis Cares,” Baum said. “Imprimis Cares and its team of compounding pharmacists will work with physicians and their patients to ensure they have affordable access to the medicines they need from the over 7,800 generic FDA-approved drugs.”
Although Turing representatives confirmed upcoming adjustments to the price of Daraprim more than a month ago, no pricing changes have yet been made. Since then, an open letter signed by 152 health organizations and individuals has called on the pharmaceutical company to increase access to the treatment.
“The unjustifiable actions taken to leverage the value of an effective 70-year-old medication are jeopardizing the health of individuals with a serious, life-threatening condition,” the organizations wrote. “The individuals do not have the luxury of time to wait for promised new treatments — which also will likely be priced out of reach.”