Criticism Sparks Cost Reduction in Toxoplasmosis Pill
Turing Pharmaceuticals has agreed to reduce the cost of its drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) after receiving significant criticism due to a sudden increase in the price of the medication.
Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the exclusive rights to market Daraprim in the United States from Impax Laboratories in August 2015, after which the company increased the price from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association submitted a letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals on September 8, 2015 expressing concerns regarding the pricing strategy and on September 20, 2015, the New York Times reported on the price increase as well.
Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, initially stated that the pricing strategy would allow the company to invest in new treatments for toxoplasmosis with fewer side effects than this current therapy. However, he has now told ABC News that “we've agreed to lower the price on Daraprim to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit.” A spokesperson for Turing Pharmaceuticals also added that the company is strengthening access to Daraprim for hospitals and clinics through additional efforts.
Daraprim is a folic acid antagonist indicated for the treatment of toxoplasmosis when used conjointly with a sulfonamide; acute malaria in combination with other antimalarials only; and chemoprophylaxis of malaria due to susceptible strains of plasmodia.