BiMart Pharmaceutics, a San Francisco-based company developing a low-cost alternative to expensive drugmakers, is getting ready to launch a new product that could help people who are at the mercy of pharmaceutical companies.
The company announced Monday that it will be launching its new “BiMart” service, which will be priced at $100, or about half the price of the typical drug.
The BiMart service is expected to be available within three months of launch, the company said in a statement.
The new service will work in conjunction with BiMart’s existing “BiM” program, which provides low-priced drug coverage to those with certain chronic diseases.
The first patients to get access to the new service, according to the company, will be seniors and the disabled.
BiMart has said it expects the service to help 1 million people through the year 2020.
The firm said the launch of the new program will allow the company to accelerate its growth and improve the quality of life for its customers.
The startup will be headquartered in San Francisco and has been valued at $3 billion, according in a December report from Goldman Sachs.
The announcement comes less than two weeks after the New York Times published a story about the company.
The story, which was written by Alastair Macdonald, a former employee of BiMart, described a company culture that allowed staff to spend more time at the company than they were allowed to do on the job.
The Times story detailed how BiMart allowed some employees to work as long as they could afford to, and the lack of health insurance coverage for employees.
A recent internal BiMart memo noted that it is difficult for staff to get medical coverage for their families.
The memo noted the company is paying $5,000 to each employee each month for their medical coverage, though it did not provide a figure.
BiMD is the only company in the United States that offers insurance for its employees.
It has said that about one-third of the people who use its products are people who receive coverage through a family plan.
The Journal-American reported in January that it was also reviewing whether to put BiMD out of business.