(Reuters)—Canadian drug maker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. said it had priced its recently approved plaque psoriasis treatment at $3,500 per month, ahead of an expected U.S. launch in the second half of 2017.
Drugmakers are facing intense criticism from politicians, insurance companies and patient advocacy groups in the U.S. over the high cost of new medicines.
Valeant is also trying to regain investor confidence following a tumultuous year in which its pricing strategy and ties to a specialty pharmacy led to a wider political and regulatory scrutiny.
Brodalumab, which blocks interleukin-17 to tamp down inflammation, will compete with a host of existing IL-17 inhibitors including secukinumab (Cosentyx) from Novartis AG and ixekizumab (Taltz) from Eli Lilly & Co. The drug would also face competition from other psoriasis treatments, such as Amgen Inc’s etanercept (Enbrel), Johnson & Johnson’s infliximab (Remicade) and AbbVie Inc’s adalimumab (Humira).
Brodalumab secured U.S. approval in February, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration slapped on its label a black box warning—the most severe given by the agency—calling attention to the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior.
About 7.5 million in the U.S. suffer from psoriasis, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
The disorder, characterized by raised, scaly skin patches, can be associated with other conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.