Turing Pharmaceuticals' Statement in Response to Newly Issued Senate Aging Committee Report
Zug, Switzerland, December 21, 2016
Turing Pharmaceuticals today reiterated, in response to a report from the Senate Aging Committee, that it has made continuing efforts to ensure patient access to the drug Daraprim®. The report is the result of hearings held last March.
Turing, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing and developing innovative treatments for rare and neglected diseases and conditions, produces Daraprim®, a drug to treat toxoplasmosis, an infection that can be life-threatening for certain people.
Turing respects and appreciates the role that the Senate Committee on Aging plays in supporting the American consumer. As the company reported to the Committee, Turing has taken numerous steps to ensure access to Daraprim® for every patient that needs it. The company recognizes that it is a critical therapy for patients and have continued to increase access to Daraprim® through our commitment to government insurance programs, patient assistance programs, and discounted pricing for hospitals.
Approximately 50% of Daraprim®'s gross sales are associated with either Medicaid or the 340B program; Daraprim® sold to these government programs is provided at $1 per 100 count bottle. Turing provides discounts of up to 50% for hospitals, which are the first to see approximately 80% of patients with toxoplasmosis encephalitis – the most common form of toxoplasmosis in the United States.
Turing highlighted its significant investment in research. The company has focused on research and development efforts in the past 18 months to develop the next generation of toxoplasmosis drugs to treat the roughly 4,000 patients a year who contract toxoplasmosis and for whom Daraprim® is not an effective treatment. Turing has identified two new molecules that are next generation DHFR Inhibitors directed more specifically against the parasite, resulting in a potentially more efficacious and less toxic treatment option. This is an area that has long been underrepresented in research efforts.
Patients and healthcare providers continue to benefit from a broadening of both Turing's hospital distribution channels and its specialty pharmacy distribution channels, designed to get product to patients in an expedited manner. The company's use of specialty distribution channels provides important benefits for patients and doctors, including enhanced patient services, such as dedicated case managers to support patient access.
Turing's distribution practices do not prevent generic competition. While some of Turing's sales are through specialty pharmacies, the great majority of sales are to hospitals and other organizations. Regardless of the distribution channel through which product is sold, Turing does not control access to Daraprim®. It should not be forgotten that Daraprim® was off-patent for decades before Turing acquired it. In that time, no generic company sought approval from the FDA.
It is disappointing that the report takes out of context and selectively highlights certain comments, including from past employees that are not reflective of Turing's current commitments and efforts to emphasize both patient care needs and the company's investment in future products to support those patients.
Toxoplasmosis is a potentially serious, sometimes fatal infection caused by the Toxoplasma gondii (T gondii) parasite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers toxoplasmosis to be one of the five neglected parasitic infections. It is estimated that 10-15% of residents in the USA and as much as one quarter of the world's human population are chronically infected. Although many people are infected, only a small number may experience serious complications. Most suffer no more than passing flu-like symptoms until the parasite is controlled by the immune system. The organism can, however, be reactivated in people, including those with compromised immunity. Active infection can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), blindness and death. In some cases, a mother can transmit the infection to her fetus, who might suffer serious and sometimes irreversible complications.
Turing Pharmaceuticals AG is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company with offices in Zug Switzerland and New York, NY. Turing focuses on developing and commercializing innovative treatments for serious diseases and conditions across a broad range of therapeutic areas, for which there are currently limited or no treatment options.
In addition to historical facts or statements of current condition, this press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of "Safe Harbor" provisions of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding the initiation of product development activities, including but not necessarily limited to clinical trials. Forward-looking statements provide Turing Pharmaceuticals' current expectations and forecasts of future events. Turing Pharmaceuticals' performance and financial results could differ materially from those reflected in these forward-looking statements due to general financial, economic, regulatory and political conditions affecting the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Given these risks and uncertainties, any or all of these forward-looking statements may prove to be incorrect. Therefore, you should not rely on any such factors or forward-looking statements. Turing Pharmaceuticals undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements.
Contact: Diana Pisciotta