This super-expensive drug is getting a $1 rival

MSMB Capital Management CIO Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Photograph by Getty Images

Turing Pharmaceutical just got hit with some stiff competition: A rival is selling a drug with the same active ingredients as Daraprim for less than $1 per pill.

In a clear shot at Turing, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals said Thursday it’s selling 100-capsule bottles of a customizable compounded formulation of pyrimethamine and leucovorin for $99 as a low cost alternative to Daraprim. Turing CEO Martin Shkreli caused an uproar in September when he raised the price of his toxoplasmosis treatment from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Shkreli said he would reduce prices for the drug, but has yet to make a change.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that can be contracted via contaminated food and cause problems for people with weakened immune systems, such as AIDS and cancer patients.

“The extent to which companies have raised their prices has gotten so out of control that we can do a lot more,” said Imprimis CEO Mark Baum in an interview with Mashable. “There’s so much we can do to correct what these guys are doing.”

“All you have to do is let the market work. We’re going to do really, really well and I’m excited about the profit,” Baum said in the interview. “We’re just not going to charge what I think are totally absurd prices.”

“The company is not concerned with competition in the space,” a Turing spokesman told Fortune in an email statement and said that patients can get a prescription of Diapram for $10 out of pocket via Turing’s assistance program.

“It’s not a threat to us. I think that it’s a publicity stunt,” Shkreli told Fox Business News Friday. “I wish this company the best of luck but I have faith in our team and our competitive standpoint,” he said.

This story was updated to include comments from Turing and Martin Shkreli.

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