Even without Pharma Bro, Daraprim is still expensive

May 04, 2018

It has been two years since Martin Shkreli jacked the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent, quickly making himself the most hated man in America and launching a country-wide debate over drug pricing.

Much has changed in those two years: Shkreli is now in jail for securities fraud (unrelated to Daraprim) and Turing Pharmaceuticals has changed its name to Vyera Pharmaceuticals.

But Daraprim, used to treat the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis, still retails for more than $750 per pill. The drug, which benefits a small group of people, does not have a generic equivalent.

Vyera has launched what it calls the Daraprim Direct program, which allows lcommercially insured patients and uninsured patients at 500 percent or less of the federal poverty level to buy Daraprim at low or no-cost, however private insurers, Medicare or Medicaid continue to still pay the full tab.

On average, Medicaid programs in 2017 paid $35,556.48 per Daraprim prescription, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of federal data covering that year’s first three quarters.

Read the KHN coverage