Objectives: To analyze the current total cost of systemic therapy for psoriasis and to compare annual trends in the cost of both generic and brand-name therapies with trends in the Consumer Price Index-Urban since 2000. Design: A cost model was developed that includes costs for prescription drugs, office visits, and suggested laboratory tests and monitoring procedures. Annual trends in psoriasis drug costs from 2000 through 2008 were analyzed by calculating the percentage change in the average wholesale price from the previous year; these values were compared with changes in the yearly Consumer Price Index-Urban values. Setting: The United States. Main Outcome Measures: Total annual costs for systemic psoriasis therapies and trends in cost compared with the trends in Consumer Price Index-Urban values (equivalent to inflation). Results: Current total annual costs for systemic psoriasis therapies ranged from $1197 (methotrexate) to $27 577 (alefacept, two 12-week courses). Trends in the average wholesale price of brand-name psoriasis therapies from 2000 through 2008 demonstrate an average increase of 66% (range, -24% to +316%); thus, costs of several brand-name psoriasis drugs greatly outpaced the rates of inflation for all items and all prescription drugs. Conclusions: Despite the higher monitoring costs associated with traditional systemic therapies, annual costs of biologics exceed those of other available therapies. Current trends demonstrate that systemic psoriasis therapy costs are increasing at a much higher rate compared with general inflation.
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