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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

The $750 Per Pill AIDS Drug Now Has $1 Competition

Oct 22, 2015
TIME Health
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A pharmaceutical company announced Thursday that it plans to introduce a significantly lower-cost version of Daraprim, the drug that made headlines last month after jumping from $13.50 per pill to $750.

Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is offering a "customizable compounded formulations" of the two main ingredients in Turing Pharmaceuticals' Daraprim, which is typically used to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite. The drug is particularly critical for pregnant women and those infected with immunodeficiency disorders like HIV/AIDS. Their version of the pill will be available for less than a dollar per capsule, according to a press release. A 100-pill bottle will sell for as low at $99, the company said.

"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," said Mark L. Baum , CEO of Imprimis.

The cheap version of Daraprim is only the beginning, according to the release. The company plans to partner with third party insurers and buyers to implement a new program called Imprimis Cares that will make over 7,800 FDA-approved generic drugs available at an affordable price.

Working under glass for extra safety, technician begins vaccine process with kidney tissue.
Caption from LIFE. Working under glass for extra safety, technician begins vaccine process with kidney tissue.Al Fenn—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
Working under glass for extra safety, technician begins vaccine process with kidney tissue.
Polio vaccine production, 1955.
Polio vaccine production, 1955.
Polio vaccine production, 1955.
In incubator room, test tubes of vaccine samples rotate slowly in drums for seven days under controlled temperature. The samples are then analyzed.
To kill virus, worker makes up formaldehyde solution which is pumped into tube overhead simultaneously with vaccine-to-be from tank. When throughly mixed, liquid goes back into tank where formaldehyde does its work.
Potency test is performed with monkey who gets injections of vaccine just as children. Blood sample is examined to see if antibodies have formed.
Polio vaccine production, 1955.
Polio vaccine production, 1955.
Child receiving a polio vaccination, 1955.
Caption from LIFE. Working under glass for extra safety, technician begins vaccine process with kidney tissue.
Al Fenn—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
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