ST. LOUIS, Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) today announced it will partner with Imprimis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IMMY) to drive access to a low-cost alternative to Daraprim (pyrimethamine), a drug for the treatment of toxoplasmosis that has been recently priced out of reach for people with HIV, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems.
Express Scripts, St. Louis, Missouri.
Imprimis is offering a compounded oral formulation of pyrimethamine and leucovorin (a form of folic acid) for $1 per capsule for people whose pharmacy benefit is managed by Express Scripts. While the 62-year-old Daraprim was priced $13.50 per pill earlier this year, its owner, Turing Pharmaceuticals, made the decision in September to increase the price to $750 per pill.
The companies expect that prescriptions for the pyrimethamine and leucovorin from Imprimis will be processed starting as early as this week for Express Scripts patients who need the treatment.
"Leveraging our expertise to improve access and affordability to an important medication is the right thing to do for HIV patients and others who could benefit from a combination of pyrimethamine and leucovorin," said Dr. Steve Miller, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Express Scripts. "We believe we now have an extremely cost-effective way to provide access to a Daraprim alternative. We will share our solution with other payers to make sure all appropriate patients around the country have access to the treatment they need at the lowest possible price."
Working with leading organizations like Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) and the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), Express Scripts will help educate physicians on the value of prescribing this viable, far less expensive alternative to Daraprim.
Physicians will be able to send a patient-specific prescription for the combination formulation of pyrimethamine and leucovorin to Imprimis, which is now a part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network. Imprimis will compound the two drugs together into an alternative for patients.
"Our goal is always to put medicine within reach by making it more affordable and accessible," said Dr. Miller. "By partnering with like-minded partners at Imprimis, the IDSA and HIVMA who are passionate about patient care and access, we believe we can make great progress in delivering better health outcomes to people who suffer from toxoplasmosis."
"We are pleased to partner with Express Scripts to take positive action to counterbalance companies like Turing and others in order to address the growing drug pricing crisis in America," stated Mark L. Baum, CEO of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals. "Like Imprimis, Express Scripts believes in putting patients first and that the excessive drug price increases we have seen over the past few years, particularly for life saving medicines such as Daraprim, deserve our attention. In order to address these market needs, Imprimis formed the Imprimis Cares initiative to offer novel, high quality low cost alternative compounded formulations to help this at-risk patient population. We look forward to the expansion of the Imprimis Cares program and continuing our partnership with Express Scripts to identify and provide additional market based solutions to expensive single source, off patent drugs."
About Express Scripts
Express Scripts puts medicine within reach of tens of millions of people by aligning with plan sponsors, taking bold action and delivering patient-centered care to make better health more affordable and accessible.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Express Scripts provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services, including network-pharmacy claims processing, home delivery pharmacy care, specialty pharmacy care, specialty benefit management, benefit-design consultation, drug utilization review, formulary management, and medical and drug data analysis services. Express Scripts also distributes a full range of biopharmaceutical products and provides extensive cost-management and patient-care services.
For more information about Express Scripts, visit Lab.Express-Scripts.com or follow @ExpressScripts on Twitter.
About Imprimis Pharmaceuticals
San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IMMY) is a national leader in the development, production and dispensing of novel compounded pharmaceuticals. The company's business primarily consists of four therapeutic segments including ophthalmology, urology, sinus and integrative medicine. Imprimis dispenses compounded pharmaceuticals in all 50 states from four facilities located in California, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For more information about Imprimis, visit www.ImprimisPharma.com or follow @imprimispharma on Twitter. For additional information, please contact Bonnie Ortega, Director of Investor Relations, (858) 704-4587 or email [email protected]
All Imprimis compounded formulations may only be prescribed pursuant to a physician prescription for an individually identified patient consistent with federal and state laws governing compounded drug formulations.
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SOURCE Express Scripts; Imprimis Pharmaceuticals