Austintown woman’s $750-per-pill drug now being made cheaper

austintown ohio drug cost daraprim

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Remember the drug company which raised the price of a generic drug 5,000%?

It’s been a month since WKBN talked to Maria Wingard on the day she was prescribed Daraprim and the price went up.  She’s halfway through her treatment.

Friday, WKBN went back and talked to her after Imprimis Pharmaceuticals found a way to make the drug and sell it for a dollar per pill.

“That’s the typical price over in Germany and Europe.  It’s a $1 a pill over there.  It’s standard pricing, so I’m very excited for anyone going forward to be able to benefit from that,” Wingard said.

Wingard has eighteen days left on her forty day treatment. She’s paid zero, when her original bill could’ve been over $70,000. She benefited from a bridge program paying for the first ten days.

Then her insurance covered the next fifteen days of pills, and it just approved the final fifteen days. Most people have an 80-20 plan, which would still be a significant amount of money for ninety two pills.

Wingard’s health coverage includes a maximum out of pocket and then 100% coverage, but the total amount is going toward her personal maximum with the insurance company.

“Each insurance company typically has $1 million per lifetime of the insured that they’re going to pay out.  I have $70,000 that’s stripped out of my lifetime maximum.” Wingard said.

Maria needed Daraprim to treat an infection called toxoplasmosis which she got overseas.  Her husband also got it, but he didn’t need Daraprim. The CDC said most Americans have the ability to recover from it.

Turing Pharmaceuticals paid $55 million for American rights to the drug, which has a long-expired patent and has been used for over 60 years.

“I earn a paycheck for what I do, you do, they should too.  But there’s a difference when you cross the line and take advantage of a serious situation and gouge somebody,” Wingard said.

Maria also told me she seriously considered going to Canada and getting the drug for cheaper than it was being sold in the USA.

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