Study: Skin care drug prices up 401 percent since 2009

FILE - In this Feb. 20, 2008, file photo, a shopper walks toward the pharmacy at a Little Rock, Ark., Wal-Mart store. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)

The cost of prescription skin treatments has skyrocketed since 2009, as the burden of escalating drug prices increasingly weighs on family budgets.

That's according to research published in JAMA Dermatology, a medical journal that found retail prices have surged 401 percent since 2009 for brand-name drugs for skin conditions. That compares to an overall inflation rate of just 11 percent during the same period.

Of the 19 brand-name drugs analyzed, price hikes have been most extreme for two drugs made by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which has been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors for documents tied to its pricing and practices.

It is also under investigation by several members of Congress. The Canada-based company focuses on acquiring smaller drug developers and then raising medicine prices.
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