Retail Prices of Dermatology Medication Soar


Published Date : Nov 26, 2015

The retail prices of 19 brand name prescription dermatologic drugs have surged by an average of over 400 per cent over the last six years, finds a study. The findings of the study are certain to add to the already growing public upheaval over the soaring prices of drugs and medication.

Two of the most prominent increases in price as far as dermatology medication is concerned are manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., a Canadian drug company. Valeant Pharmaceuticals is one of the recent firms in the midst of a storm after they bought the rights to sell drugs with expired patents only to increase their prices immediately. 

Valeant bought the rights to sell Targretin gel for US$ 65 million in 2013. Targretin is a topical medication used to heal skin problems resulting from a certain type of cancer. According to the study, between 2009 and 2011, the price of Targretin gel went up from US$ 1686 to US$ 1787. The price jumped to over US$ 15,000 per tube of two ounces in 2014 and then this year, it spiked to over US$ 30,000 for the same tube. 

Carac cream is another Valeant drug, which treats keratosis. The rights to sell Carac cream were bought by Valeant in 2011 and it purchased them from Dermik in a deal that valued over US$ 425 million. Dermik is a dermatology wing of leading drug maker Sanofi. The price of the drug was then increased by Valeant from US$ 227 to over US$ 2,800 this year. 

The prices of both Targretin gel and Carac cream from 2009 to 2015 rose by almost 1,700%, according to the study that was published in JAMA Dermatology.

An increase in price was noted among all anti-cancer dermatology drugs, costs of which went up by almost 1,200% from 2009 to 2015.