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.

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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.

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