In the News: Daraprim®
Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company who recently bought the rights to Daraprim® (pyrimethamine), implemented a massive price increase for the drug this past month, claiming that it had been severely under-priced for years. Costs in the U.S. for Daraprim skyrocketed from $13.50 per tablet to an astounding $750 per tablet. Worldwide, this drug costs much less, selling for as low as $1 per tablet in the U.K. Due to media and industry outcry, the company has subsequently agreed to lower the cost of Daraprim.1
What is Daraprim?
Daraprim is an oral medication that has been on the market for over 62 years, and is used to prevent and treat malaria as well as treat toxoplasmosis. Due to increased resistance to the drug, Daraprim is now more commonly used to treat toxoplasmosis.2 Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that, in normal patients, only causes flu-like symptoms and can be easily treated. However, in immunocompromised patients (such as those with AIDS, undergoing chemotherapy, and organ transplant patients) it can cause extremely serious complications, including confusion, seizures, and lung problems.3
EmpiRx Health’s Position
EmpiRx Health continuously monitors the market for significant changes and new developments that have the potential to impact our clients and membership, including price fluctuations. Upon careful review of this drug and its significant costs, we have implemented a prior authorization requirement to limit the coverage of Daraprim for toxoplasmosis, as well as ensure dosing and quantities dispensed are specific to approved manufacturer guidelines. This ensures that costs are contained while maintaining the highest quality of care for our members.
Please contact your EmpiRx Health Account Manager for further inquiries.
1 Surowiecki J. Taking on the drug profiteers. The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/10/12/taking-on-the-drug-profiteers. October 12, 2015 issue. Accessed online October 5, 2015.
2 Drug Facts and Comparisons. Daraprim. Updated February 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015.
3 Mayo Clinic. Toxoplasmosis. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/toxoplasmosis/basics/definition/con-20025859. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed October 1, 2015.
Actual drug patent expiration dates and availability of new medications are subject to change due to patent litigation, settlement agreements, additional patents, exclusivities, and final FDA approval. Distribution and availability of new medications at pharmacies may not occur immediately following FDA approval. Patients are advised to speak with their healthcare professional or pharmacist regarding appropriateness as well as actual availability.