Imprimis offers $1 alternative to Turing's $750 pill

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Costly Turing Drug Gets a Low-Price Competitor

A specialty drugmaker said it would sell for less than $1 a version of Daraprim, an anti-infective drug at the heart of allegations of "price gouging" involving Turing Pharmaceuticals after it hiked the price by over 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

The 62-year-old Daraprim is sold in the United States by the tiny Turing, whose controversial CEO Martin Shkreli has become the face of industry profiteering after bumping up the drug's price to $750 from $13.50 a pill after buying it in August.

SEE MORE: A pharma CEO jacked up the price of a 62-year-old drug by $736 a pill

San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc said on Thursday it was offering a customizable compounded formulation of the costly drug in the form of an oral capsule. The company develops compounded medications for prescription drugs that do not meet the specific needs of a patient.

Unlike Daraprim, Imprimis's formulation in itself is not FDA approved, and can only be used when prescribed by a doctor for a particular patient.

See protests from when Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim:

7 PHOTOS
Protests against Turing Pharmaceuticals
See Gallery
Imprimis offers $1 alternative to Turing's $750 pill
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Act Up activist Mark Milano, center, pours cat litter on an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in a makeshift cat litter pan during a protest by AIDS activists highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in front of the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Act Up activist Mark Milano, center, pours cat litter on an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in a makeshift cat litter pan during a protest by AIDS activists highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in front of the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Carrying an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in a makeshift cat litter pan, AIDS activists and others are asked to leave the lobby of 1177 6th Ave. in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Daraprim is used to fight toxoplasmosis, the second leading cause of death from foodborne illness in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which estimates about one million people in the U.S. are infected annually with the parasite.

The United States has no price controls on medicines even though such caps are common in Europe.

Last week, Canada's Valeant Pharmaceutical International Inc disclosed that its pricing and other practices were under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York and Massachusetts.

Valeant has attracted attention with several high-profile drug price hikes, including that of heart medication Isuprel, which it has increased eightfold since acquiring it in 2013.

U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Democratic lawmakers have criticized price hikes in the U.S. drug industry, triggering a selloff in the life sciences sector.

More health news on AOL.com:
GOP bill would gut health law, halt Planned Parenthood money
Police alert parents to new street drug tablets that look a lot like candy
Subway to transition to meat raised without antibiotics

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners