Valeant prices psoriasis treatment at $3,500 per month

Canadian drugmaker 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.

Siliq is the lowest priced injectable biologic psoriasis treatment currently on the market, Valeant said on Friday.

Drugmakers are facing intense criticism from politicians, insurance companies and patient advocacy groups in the United States 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.

Siliq, which blocks a cell receptor known as interleukin-17 to tamp down inflammation, will compete with a host of existing IL-17 inhibitors including Cosentyx from Novartis AG and Taltz from Eli Lilly & Co.

The drug would also face competition from other psoriasis treatments such as Amgen Inc’s Enbrel, Johnson & Johnson’s Remicade and AbbVie Inc’s Humira.

Siliq secured U.S. approval in February, but the 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 United States 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.

(Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto and Sriraj Kalluvila)

Read More at Reuters

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