Pharmacies Skirt Regs to Compete Against High Prices

With anger over rising generic drug prices reaching a fever pitch, some pharmacies are taking advantage of a lax regulatory process to step in.

Compounding pharmacies can offer an alternative to a high-priced drug without having to go through the federal approval process like pharmaceutical companies. That is what small California-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals is doing to compete with the anti-parasite drug Daraprim whose price has soared.

Daraprim’s maker, Turing Pharmaceuticals, jacked up the price of the treatment from $13.50 a pill to $750. The drug maker isn’t the only company to adopt this strategy, as several other manufacturers have raised prices on older generic drugs that don’t have any competition.

In response, Imprimis said Thursday it would make a formulation of Daraprim for $1 a pill, or $99 for a 100-count bottle. The head of the small company previously adopted a similar strategy for eye medications and said other pharmacies could step in.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” CEO Mark Baum said.