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Express Scripts Prefers This $1 Alternative To Daraprim

Express Scripts Prefers This $1 Alternative To Daraprim
  • Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, controversially raised the price of a potentially life-saving drug called Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.50.
  • Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ: ESRX), the largest manager of prescription drug benefits, said on it will now cover a $1 a capsule alternative to Daraprim.
  • Express Scripts' Chief Medical Officer said that a $750 a pill price "wasn't acceptable."

Martin Shkreli briefly held the unofficial title as the "most hated man on the internet" after he acquired Turing Pharmaceuticals, a maker of potentially lifesaving drugs for patients with HIV, and increased the price of its Daraprim pill from $13.50 to $750.

Shkreli argued that as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the price increase is warranted to make a profit on the product. The list of notable figures that publicly opposed drastic drug price increase and even included presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Express Scripts, the largest manager of prescription drug benefits, added its name to the mix.

Related Link: Why Is Martin Shkreli No Longer Lending Out His KaloBios Shares?

According to Bloomberg, Express Scripts' Chief Medical Officer Steve Miller said Turing's $750 a pill price "wasn't acceptable." In fact, the company has committed itself to offering a $1-a-capsule alternative to Daraprim as part of a new partnership with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: IMMY).

Imprimis manufactures a medicine with the same active ingredient as Daraprim, called pyrimethamine. The company saw its shares surge on Tuesday following its new partnership with Express Scripts, gaining more than 8 percent.

"Leveraging our expertise to improve access and affordability to an important medication is the right thing to do for HIV patients and others who could benefit from a combination of pyrimethamine and leucovorin," Miller also said in a press release. "We believe we now have an extremely cost-effective way to provide access to a Daraprim alternative. We will share our solution with other payers to make sure all appropriate patients around the country have access to the treatment they need at the lowest possible price."

Bloomberg noted Express Scripts has already made Imprimis part of its pharmacy network and would begin processing claims for the new drug as early as this week for patients with a prescription from their doctor for the compounded version.

Posted-In: Bloomberg Daraprim Drug Pricing Hillary Clinton Martin ShkreliNews Health Care General Best of Benzinga


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