I came across this story in the Financial Times this morning and after I’d mopped up the coffee I squirted all over my desk, I thought it might make a good “live news” post, if only to prove that I’ve got my finger on the pulse here.
Yes folks, you read that figure right.
While I’m as capitalist as they come, I cannot understand how the healthcare market in the US has got to the dysfunctional state it’s currently in.
The story is about the prescription acne cream called Aloquin. You may have heard of it, or even been prescribed it. It’s often prescribed when hydrocortisone cannot be recommended.
Aloquin contains a relatively inexpensive pair of active ingredients:
- iodoquinol, which is an antibiotic/anti-fungal and a derivative of quinolone, a cream commonly found in many other acne creams in conjunction with benzoyl peroxide
- aloe polysaccharides, which are essentially carbohydrate compounds extracted from the aloe vera plant
Aloquin was formerly manufactured by Primus Pharmaceuticals who sold the cream at $241.50 a tube, as recently as May 2015.
Since Novum Pharmaceuticals bought the patent, they’ve jacked up the price by an insane 3,900%. If you want to buy that same cream today – remember it contains just two fairly cheap ingredients – it would set you back $9,561.
Nearly $10,000 dollars for 60 grams of cheap acne cream.
What is going on here?!
Oh, I nearly forgot the best part. When analysed by the FDA, Aloquin was judged to be “possibly effective”.
Fancy shelling out ten grand for a cream which “might” help your acne?
By the way, if you’re currently on Aloquin and you’re concerned about its potential disappearance, and you can’t quite stretch to $10,000 for another few weeks’ supply, fear not.
You get iodoquinol in a generic cream for under $30 – speak to whoever prescribed you Aloquin – and you can pick up a tube of aloe vera gel in just about any drugstore or try this bestseller here from Amazon, which is the one I bought my dear old granny (who keeps it in her cupboard for nettle stings).
Bingo, I’ve just saved you $9,531. You can thank me later – for now, feel free to leave your enraged comments below.