A drug treating a common parasite that attacks people with weakened immune systems increased in cost 5,000% to $750 per pill.
At a time of heightened attention to the rising cost of prescription drugs, doctors who treat patients with AIDS and cancer are denouncing the new cost to treat a condition that can be life-threatening.
Turing Pharmaceuticals of New York raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill last month, shortly after purchasing the rights to the drug from Impax Laboratories. Turing has exclusive rights to market Daraprim (pyrimethamine), on the market since 1953.
Daraprim fights toxoplasmosis, the second most common food-borne disease, which can easily infect people whose immune systems have been weakened by AIDS, chemotherapy or even pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“This is a tremendous increase,” said Judith Aberg, a spokesperson for the HIV Medicine Association. Even patients with insurance could have trouble affording the medication, she said. That’s because insurance companies often put high-price drugs in the “specialty” category, requiring patients to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Patients whose insurance plans require them to pay 20% of the cost — a common practice — would shell out $150 a pill.
About 60 million people in the United States may carry the Toxoplasma parasite, according to the CDC. It comes from eating under-cooked meat, cooking with contaminated knives and boards, drinking unclean water and contact with infected cat feces.
Mothers can also pass it to their children during pregnancy and organ transplant patients can get it through an infected donor. Symptoms can feel flu-like, but the parasite attacks the brain and can lead to blindness or brain damage.
A number of doctors and patient advocates recently have spoken out about the rising costs of prescription drugs.
The average cost of brand-name medications rose 13% in 2013, according to a report from the Prime Institute at the University of Minnesota. New cancer drugs now routinely cost more than $100,000 a year. A new brand-name hepatitis drug, Sovaldi, costs $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment.
“Every week, I’m learning about another drug that has increased in price because of a change in marketing or the distributor,” Aberg said.
The HIV Medicine Association and Infectious Diseases Society of America wrote Turing about concerns over the new price. Aberg said she worries the increase will prevent hospitals from stocking Daraprim, which could delay patient treatment. There are no alternative brands for pyrimethamine, and other treatments are not strong enough.
The price increase hasn’t yet delayed patient care, said Rima McLeod, medical director at the University of Chicago Toxoplasmosis Center.
“Turing’s people have been helpful every single time,” McLeod said, noting that she has been able to get patients on medication on the day they needed it.
McLeod heads research on toxoplasmosis in Chicago. She said up to 3 billion people in the world are infected with the parasite, which attacks the brain.
“It’s a serious disease and it’s been neglected in this country for a long time, for the most part,” McLeod said.
It’s critical that the treatment stays readily available, McLeod said.
“It makes the difference between whether people see or don’t see, whether babies grow to live happy lives with families or not,” she said.
A Turing spokesman, Craig Rothenberg, said the company is working with hospitals and providers to get every patient covered. This includes free-of-charge options for uninsured patients and co-pay assistance programs.
Rothenberg defended Daraprim’s price, saying that the company will use the money it makes from sales to further research treatments for toxoplasmosis. They also plan to invest in marketing and education tools to make people more aware of the disease.
“There has been no innovation in dealing with toxoplasmosis,” Rothenberg said. “That has been a long neglect in the patient community.”
So What’s The Point?
Bottom-line there has been no innovation in dealing with toxoplasmosis that Big Pharma wants you to know about! It is quit common in the blood of humans seen in the above micrograph using phase contrast microscopy.
Why spend hundred and thousands of dollars on a Big Pharma drug when you can simply rid your body of parasites by changing your acidic diet to an alkaline diet and begin taking 5 drops per liter of water of the pH Miracle puripHy. It is that simple.
Killing parasites is not about the parasite it is about the environment. Flies do not create the garbage they migrate to the garbage. Take out the acidic garbage with an alkaline lifestyle, diet and nutritionals and you will rid your body of dietary and metabolic acids and the parasites. Understand? So go do it!
To learn more or to order the puripHy go to: http://www.phoreveryoung.com