On Wednesday, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals Inc announced its plans to make a cheaper alternative to Thiola, a drug made by Retrophin Inc.

Mark Baum, founder and CEO of Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, offered last year to make a $1 version of Daraprim, the toxoplasmosis treatment that ‘s Turing Pharmaceuticals was selling for $750 a pill. Now, he announced their interests on creating  a low-cost alternative to a drug named Thiola.

Photo: The NY Times
Photo: The NY Times

Thiola is and FDA approved therapy used to treat a rare disease named cystinuria. This is an inherited disease that causes stones made of the amino acid, cystine, in the kidneys, bladder or urethra.

This drug was originally owned by Retrophin Inc, which also had Martin Shkreli as a CEO and also hiked its price substantially by 2000% in 2014. Just like it happened with the Daraprim drug few weeks ago.

Retrophin eventually cut all ties with Shkreli, but it never returned Thiola to its old price. Therefore,  Baum’s company saw an opportunity to compete with a low-cost alternative and to build a market in countering massive drug price hikes.

Imprimis accomplished its last year offer and it is now making the $1 copy of Daraprim and they say their alternative for Thiola may reduce the cost of the drug by 70% or more. It may be available for patients in April. However, their formulation is not yet FDA approved and can only be used when prescribed by a doctor for a particular patient.

Source: The Business Insider