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Express Scripts, Imprimis partner on $1 Daraprim alternative
ST. LOUIS — Express Scripts announced Wednesday that it would be working with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals to provide a low-cost alternative to Daraprim — a drug meant to treat toxoplasmosis whose price went from $13.50 to $750 overnight when it was acquired by Turing Pharmaceuticals in September.
Imprimis will offer a compounded oral combination of pyrimethamine and leucovorin for $1 per capsule for patients whose benefits are managed by Express Scripts. The companies hope to start processing prescriptions for the formulation as early as this week.
“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,” Express Scripts SVP and chief medical officer Dr. Steve Miller said. “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.”
Express Scripts said it would work with such organizations as the Infectious Disease Society of America and the HIV Medicine Association to inform providers about the value of the formulation. To prescribe it, they write a patient-specific prescription for the combination of the two drugs to Imprimis, which will then compound it.
“We are pleased to partner with Express Scripts to take positive action to counterbalance companies like Turing and others in order to address the growing drug pricing crisis in America,” Imprimis CEO Mark Baum said. “Like Imprimis, Express Scripts believes in putting patients first and that the excessive drug price increases we have seen over the past few years, particularly for life saving medicines such as Daraprim, deserve our attention.”