This is the latest spate of pharmaceutical companies jacking up prices of medications.
Dealing with acne can be tough. Trying to overcome the skin affliction while paying mega amounts of money is even more of an ordeal. Yet, this is exactly what thousands of people who have been prescribed Alcortin A are dealing with, and it’s simply an effect of corporate greed.
Financial Times relays that last week, Novum Pharma increased the price of Aloquin, a medication for acne and eczema, by 128%. Now, a 60g tube (just over 2 ounces) costs a jaw-dropping $9,561. Other creams that have the same active ingredient – antifungal iodoquinol, usually cost less than $40. The other ingredient is a derivative from the aloe vera plant. The price for Alcortin A was also increased by the same amount. Now, the cream for common skin conditions costs $7,142 for one ounce.
Since gaining legal rights to the drug last May, Novum Pharma has repeatedly increased the price of Aloquin. Fortune commented on just this:
“Overall, the price of Aloquin has increased 3,900% since May of 2015. Novum has steadily increased its price since that time, when it acquired the drug from Primus Pharmaceuticals, its previous owner. A spokesman for the drug company told the Financial Times that revenue from increased prices would go to investing in ‘schemes that ensured more patients could access the medicine.’”
This is but the most recent example of pharmaceutical companies jacking up prices of medications. Recently, Mylan increased the price of the EpiPen – a life-saving antihistamine injection – by 600%. And last year, Martin Shkreli, CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill.
As Ars Technica noted, Aloquin – unlike other drugs whose prices have been raised, but are otherwise effective medications that can save lives – is a skin treatment that has been deemed “possibly effective” by the FDA. People will not die if they do not have access to it. However, the trend of greedily hiking up prices of drugs to attain more profit is detrimental to the masses and worthy of attention.
In the United States, pharmaceutical drugs often cost more than in other nations, and this is a concern because many citizens cannot afford them. A study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association affirms this, stating “Prices for many specialty drugs are higher in the United States than other developed countries, and about 1 in 4 people in the United States who take prescription drugs report difficulty affording them.”
Some action has been taken to regulate the drug pricing practices of pharmaceutical companies, but clearly, it’s not enough. After leaders from the Senate Special Commission on Aging sent a letter to several heads of pharmaceutical companies about their drug pricing tactics, Senate Claire McCaskill stated:
“Some of the recent actions we’ve seen in the pharmaceutical industry — with corporate acquisitions followed by dramatic increases in the prices of pre-existing drugs — have looked like little more than price gouging. We need to get to the bottom of why we’re seeing huge spikes in drug prices that seemingly have no relationship to research and development costs.”