Your Skin Care Prescriptions Now Cost 5x What They Did in 2009

Don’t count this one up to simply inflation: The price of your doctor-prescribed skin care—including Retin-A, psoriasis medications and topical corticosteroids—have gone up significantly in the past six years, according to a new report published in JAMA Dermatology. The shocking number? The journal pegs an unbelievable 400 percent rise in cost from 2009 to 2015.

The research, which initially surveyed four national chain pharmacies, including pharmacies at Walgreens, Costco, Sam's Club, and CVS Pharmacy, requested price data on commonly prescribed/brand-name dermatologic drugs (subsequent surveys then included additional brand-name drugs, as well as their generic alternatives) in the years 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015. The results: Of the drugs analyzed during the six-year survey period, the mean price increase was 401 percent, with the majority of the rise happening after 2011.

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“This is a crisis situation,” Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, says, adding that the price of acne and rosacea medications, in particular, increased by means of 195 percent. “Most dermatological medications have gone through the roof with little to no explanation as to why prices have increased that dramatically. We as cosmetic dermatologists are very upset about this for ourselves and for our patients.”


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