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    A Company Undercut That CEO Who Raised The Price Of A Vital Drug By Over 4,000%

    Imprimis Pharmaceuticals claims it can make a close, customized version of the drug for $1 a pill.

    Last month, Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals, provoked global outrage after raising the price of a drug used to treat AIDS and cancer patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight.

    Bloomberg / Getty Images

    The drug, Daraprim, is used to treat parasitic infections known as toxoplasmosis. His decision meant that patients could expect to face thousands of dollars in treatment costs.

    Shkreli’s company purchased the rights to the drug in August. At the time, he defended his decision, saying it was “necessary to make a profit” on the drug so he could invest in research to develop new versions of it.

    Bloomberg / Getty Images

    However, his decision still prompted huge outrage, including from Hillary Clinton.

    Price gouging like this in the specialty drug market is outrageous. Tomorrow I'll lay out a plan to take it on. -H https://t.co/9Z0Aw7aI6h

    He was initially unrepentant, sharing Eminem's "The Way I Am" by way of a response to his critics, as well as calling one a "moron".

    He then backtracked, telling ABC News that his company would lower the price of the drug, though he didn't say by how much.

    However, he now appears to have been drastically undercut by a rival.

    ABC

    According to NBC, San Diego-based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals has claimed it can make a close, customized version of the drug for $1 a pill.

    The company is planning to mix Daraprim with another compound, Leucovorin, which will help deal with the former's effects on bone marrow cells.

    In a statement, Imprimis CEO Mark Baum said:

    While we respect Turing's right to charge patients and insurance companies whatever it believes is appropriate, there may be more cost-effective compounded options for medications, such as Daraprim, for patients, physicians, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to consider.

    He went on to say that it was "not the first time" a "sole supply generic drug" like Daraprim had seen a sudden price rise that could make it unaffordable.

    Baum added that his company was setting up a new programme called Imprimis Cares, "which is aligned to our corporate mission of making novel and customizable medicines available to physicians and patients today at accessible prices".

    US Uncut claims that it approached Shkreli for comment. He apparently responded: "Lol."

    He has, however, continued to defend himself on Twitter.

    We spend more than 50% of our revenue on R&D. Please get your facts straight before lumping us in with others. @robzirk @PhRMA

    Remember the majority of our medicine is sold at $0.01 per pill. Think first, react second.

    Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Alan White at alan.white@buzzfeed.com.

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