Turing Pharmaceuticals to retain Daraprim list price, offer discounts to hospitals

Turing Pharmaceuticals announced that it will retain the current list price of Daraprim (pyrimethamine), whilst offering reductions of up to 50 percent for hospitals. Turing has faced recent criticism after the cost of the toxoplasmosis therapy jumped from $13.50 a tablet to $750, with CEO Martin Shkreli suggesting that the company would address the issue.

Chief commercial officer Nancy Retzlaff said "a reduction in Daraprim's list price would not translate into a benefit for patients," adding "a drug's list price is not the primary factor in determining patient affordability and access." Retzlaff suggested that Turing aims "to keep patients' out-of-pocket costs low, have patient assistance programmes in place and ensure hospitals can afford to stock Daraprim for treatment of the most vulnerable patients."

Along with the price reductions for hospitals, which Turing noted treat about 80 percent of patients with toxoplasmosis encephalitis, new, smaller bottles of 30 tablets will be launched in early 2016 to "make it easier to stock Daraprim as well as lower...carrying costs." The drugmaker added that it will also "commit to patients with commercial insurance that their out-of-pocket obligation will be no more than $10 per prescription."

Turing said that it was using some of the revenue from Daraprim to fund research into a new and better treatment. "This is part of Turing's commitment to invest at least 60 percent of its revenues for the foreseeable future into research and development of innovative therapies, primarily for rare and neglected diseases," a company spokesman remarked.

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