naked capitalism…

Posted on Friday 23 October 2015

by Ed Silverman
October 22, 2015

Thanks to a compounding pharmacy, Martin Shkreli’s company may no longer have a lock on the market for its pricey anti-infective drug Daraprim. A little-known company called Imprimis Pharmaceuticals announced plans to make a combination medicine that includes pyrimethamine, the same active ingredient found in Daraprim. And Imprimis intends to charge just $99 for a bottle of 100 capsules, or about $1 each. Daraprim costs $750 per tablet.

Shkreli’s Turing Pharmaceuticals, as you know, caused a recent firestorm by boosting the price of Daraprim from $13.55 less than a month after buying the decades-old, life-saving medicine from another drug maker this summer. The price hike amounted to a whopping 5,433 percent increase.

Turing sparked still more outrage by restricting distribution in order to thwart generic drug makers from obtaining samples needed to develop cheaper versions. This prompted the New York Attorney General to launch an anti-trust probe last week. And US Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat and Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton asked the Federal Trade Commission to do the same.

“We’re going to take care of this patient population and at a fair price and make a great profit,” Imprimis chief executive officer Mark Baum told us. “We think physicians will write prescriptions for the compounded version. And we think insurers will support this”…
Three cheers for the law of supply and demand! Working in a Charity Clinic, I’ve become sensitized to the costs of medication. Recently, the price for generics has taken an big upturn, pushing some previously affordable generics out of reach for the patients I see. Our volunteer pharmacy has been adding some of them to our formulary because we can buy them at a fraction of the drug store price. But since we don’t charge for medicine, it’s not a long term solution. I suspect that this is simply price gouging, and hope that the law of supply and demand will kick in with the generics in general. I didn’t go to medical school to keep up with drug prices at various local drug stores, but that’s what it has come down to these days…
    October 23, 2015 | 8:18 AM

    I don’t know about the particular psych meds, but Canadian mail pharmacies are wonderful bargains, and relatively easy to use. I use Planet Drugs and they have been very good and inexpensive.

    October 23, 2015 | 8:59 AM


    Me too!

    October 23, 2015 | 10:42 AM

    hope you two and the rest of customers are getting the correct product.

    Obamacare, another example of eroding the basic fabric of society, piece by piece. Anyone who was and god forbid still is a vocal supporter and is now getting screwed by these obscene price increases, you are welcome!

    Nice to see the abuse does not discriminate between political parties…

    Ferrell Varner
    October 24, 2015 | 10:04 AM

    My drugs are manufactured in Holland. I hope that Europe has good regulatory standards for their products. They seem to work very well. You can choose the country of origin. They are cheaper if they come from India.

    October 24, 2015 | 1:29 PM


    The ones from India are working fine too…

    James O'Brien, M.D.
    October 25, 2015 | 10:47 AM

    This is basically the intersection of psychology and economics…competition is good for the consumer…and evidence that markets unencumbered by monopoly protection work.

    October 26, 2015 | 4:27 PM

    Actually, Canada regulates the price of drugs. In the US, where the “free market” has more of an influence on prices, even generics are becoming unaffordable.

    Ferrell Varner
    October 27, 2015 | 12:12 PM

    Does Canada regulate prices on those shipped out of country also?

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