Imprimis Pharmaceuticals published a 75-page drug pricing monograph describing specific proposals that will drive competition, transparency, and patient access by lowering drug costs for Americans, according to a company news release.
Imprimis’ Founder and CEO, Mark L. Baum, an advocate of pharmaceutical compounding as a viable solution to the drug pricing crisis, has written a monograph, entitled, “Pharmaceutical Compounding: An essential piece of the healthcare reform puzzle”, detailing current drug pricing issues and outlining 15 concrete proposals for consideration by policymakers. His proposed actions are designed to abate the problems of high priced and often unaffordable drugs, particularly old, off-patent drugs. The monograph illuminates the key issues and what should be done to restore a competitive equilibrium in the drug markets. Among the key passages in the monograph is the following:
“Federal and state drug regulatory policy must refocus its priorities on those things that are most important: taking care of patients, putting safety first, and addressing the nation’s growing drug shortage, drug pricing, and drug accessibility problems. Safe and effective compounding of necessary medications, by serving as the pin to burst the drug pricing bubble that has negatively affected the health and well-being of far too many Americans for too long, can be a critical part of these needed reforms.”
Mr. Baum also comments on the actions of Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and other pharmaceutical CEOs that have taken advantage of the loopholes in current policy that have allowed many drug prices to skyrocket:
“The proverbial ‘bottom line’ is that when Martin Shkreli called members of Congress ‘imbeciles’ in the spring of 2016, he was not necessarily hurling his vitriol at individual elected officials who were confronting him. He was evidencing, in a crystal clear diction, his disrespect and disdain for the American people he sought to fleece through his drug pricing policies and his entire business model. Shkreli is but one example of the many pharmaceutical executives and companies that betrayed the inherent social contract between the American pharmaceutical industry and Americans that bestowed on it so many unusual privileges. It is now up to the American people, our elected leaders and those who are charged with the important work of government agencies to prove Shkreli and the many others like him wrong. Drug and healthcare policy must now encourage competition and work to the advantage of consumers. We are not imbeciles; nor are we lemmings.”
“Each day there is yet another example of older, off-patent drugs that experience significant price increases. Yesterday it was news of Chicago-based Novum Pharma and its increase of an old off-patent drug Aloquin to more than $9,500 a tube, more than 3,900% since its acquisition only 18 months ago. Companies do this to consumers because current policy prevents competition, particularly for drugs like Aloquin. We plan to leverage our record of success by bringing new, affordable compounded drug innovations to market in order to combat high drug prices. We believe that by continuing our efforts we will provide greater competition in the U.S. prescription drug market, lower consumer prices for certain critical medicines, and provide greater access to safe, affordable drugs for all Americans.”
Mr. Baum concluded, “While holding Congressional hearings to gather testimony is important, at this point, taking action to solve the problem is paramount.”
Main points included in the monograph:
- Imprimis is known for its Imprimis Cares program and a 99-cent alternative to the $750 per pill Daraprim, which was introduced in October 2015 after Turing Pharmaceuticals increased the price of the drug by over 5,000 percent. Imprimis made its 99 cent alternative to Daraprim using only FDA-approved components. To date, Imprimis has dispensed more than 20,000 doses, representing a savings to patients and healthcare providers of more than $10 million when compared to purchasing Daraprim.
- The company began combatting overpriced pharmaceutical prices in April 2014, when it first introduced Dropless Therapy for use by prescription after cataract surgery. Dropless Therapy is changing post-surgery care by allowing most patients to avoid weeks of tedious and expensive post-surgical eye drops. A co-sponsored economic study with not-for-profit Cataract Surgeons for Improved Eyecare, conducted by Andrew Chang & Co. LLC demonstrated that Dropless Therapy could save Medicare, Medicaid and patients of up to $13 billion, assuming a cost of $100 per dose of Dropless Therapy.
- In May 2016, Imprimis introduced its patent-pending tiopronin delayed release compounded formulations, a lower-cost alternative to Thiola, representing an estimated cost savings of over 80 percent compared to Thiola, a chronic care drug which can cost in excess of $150,000 per year per patient.
- Under the Imprimis Cares program, Imprimis offers a customizable pentosan polysulfate sodium delayed release (PPS-DR) compounded medication as an alternative to Elmiron for the treatment of symptoms associated with interstitial cystitis, at a cost savings of 88 percent.
- Imprimis and its development team are currently working on adding a compounded alternative to the Epi-Pen, which the company expects would be available at less than $100.