Chicago drugmaker charges almost $8k for tube of skin gel

Novum Pharma is the latest drugmaker facing criticism for high drug costs, according to the Chicago Tribune.

As of Sept. 12, the Chicago-based drug company was charging pharmacies $7,968 for a 48-gram tube of Alcortin A or a 60-gram tube of Aloquin, both of which are medications used to treat eczema and skin infections. Novum increased the whole sale prices of these two drugs by 128 percent since June. The company also raised the price of the skin gel Novacort to $5,952, marking about a 71 percent increase for the same time period, according to the report.

Novum, which was founded last year, bought the medications from Skillman, N.J.-based Primus Therapeutics in early 2015. At the time, Alcortin A had a wholesale price of $189, Aloquin went for $201 and Novacort was listed at $121, according to Elsevier Clinical Solutions' Gold Standard Drug Database. 

Novum told the Tribune in an email that many of the prices — first quoted by the Financial Times — are not accurate, but did not offer any alternative figures. Novum also said patients who have private insurance often have no co-pays for the drugs through its discount program.

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