Drugs Q & A

Why Is Arazlo So Expensive?

Arazlo (tazarotene) is a prescription medication used for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris in patients 9 years of age and older. It belongs to a class of medications known as retinoids, which are derivatives of vitamin A. Arazlo works by affecting the growth of skin cells and decreasing inflammation, which helps to prevent the formation of new acne lesions and promote the healing of existing ones.

The active ingredient in Arazlo, tazarotene, acts by binding to specific retinoic acid receptors in the skin. This action helps to normalize the skin cell cycle, preventing the accumulation of dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to acne. Additionally, tazarotene has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness and swelling associated with acne lesions.

Arazlo is available as a topical gel formulation that is applied directly to the affected areas of the skin once daily in the evening. It is important to follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider and the medication’s packaging carefully to ensure proper use and maximum benefit.

How much does Arazlo cost?

The price of Arazlo topical lotion 0.045% can vary depending on the pharmacy and location. On average, the cost for a 45-gram supply of Arazlo is approximately $573 for cash-paying customers. However, without health insurance coverage, the standard counter price of Arazlo can be as high as $722.25 for the same quantity. These prices highlight the significant financial burden that individuals may face when purchasing Arazlo without insurance coverage, especially considering that it is often used on a daily basis for the treatment of acne.

Why Is Arazlo So Expensive?

The high cost of Arazlo, like many prescription medications, can be attributed to several factors:

1.        Research and Development (R&D) Costs: Developing a new medication involves extensive research, clinical trials, and regulatory approval processes, which require significant investments of time and resources. Arazlo is a novel topical gel formulation containing tazarotene, a retinoid derivative. The expenses incurred during its development, including research, testing, and obtaining regulatory approvals, are factored into its pricing.

2.        Limited Competition: Arazlo may have limited competition in the market, particularly for topical retinoid treatments for acne. With fewer alternatives available, the manufacturer may be able to set higher prices without significant pressure from competing products.

3.        Patent Protection: Pharmaceutical companies often secure patents to protect their innovations and prevent competitors from producing generic versions of their medications. Arazlo may be protected by patents, granting the manufacturer exclusive rights to market and sell the medication for a specified period. During this time, the company can charge higher prices to recoup R&D costs and maximize profits.

4.        Regulatory Costs and Compliance: Meeting regulatory standards and obtaining approvals from health authorities incur additional expenses for pharmaceutical companies. Arazlo has undergone rigorous testing and regulatory review to ensure its safety and efficacy, and these costs are passed on to consumers through the pricing of the medication.

5.        Marketing and Distribution Expenses: Pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in marketing and promotional activities to raise awareness of their medications and encourage prescribing by healthcare providers. Additionally, distribution expenses, including packaging, labeling, and logistics, contribute to the overall cost of bringing Arazlo to market.

6.        Economic Factors: Economic factors such as supply chain disruptions, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, and inflation can influence the cost of pharmaceuticals. These external factors may impact the production and distribution costs of Arazlo, ultimately affecting its retail price.

Overall, the high cost of Arazlo reflects the complex interplay of factors involved in the development, production, and marketing of prescription medications. While the expense may present challenges for some patients, it is important to consider the value of effective treatment options for managing acne and consult with healthcare providers to explore potential alternatives or cost-saving strategies.

How to get cheaper Arazlo (tazarotene)

Getting cheaper Arazlo (tazarotene) or reducing its cost can involve several strategies:

1.        Manufacturer Coupons and Patient Assistance Programs: The manufacturer of Arazlo may offer coupons, rebates, or patient assistance programs to help reduce the cost for eligible patients. Check the official website of Arazlo or contact the manufacturer directly to inquire about any available savings programs.

2.        Generic Alternatives: While Arazlo is a branded medication, there may be generic versions of tazarotene available at a lower cost. Generic medications contain the same active ingredient and are typically less expensive than their brand-name counterparts. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if a generic alternative to Arazlo is available and suitable for your needs.

3.        Insurance Coverage: If you have health insurance, check your plan’s formulary or drug list to see if Arazlo is covered under your prescription drug benefits. If it is, you may only need to pay a copayment or coinsurance, which can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses. Contact your insurance provider for details on coverage and any applicable copayment amounts.

4.        Prescription Discount Cards: Consider using prescription discount cards or apps, which can help you save money on prescription medications, including Arazlo. These cards may be available through various organizations, pharmacies, or websites, and can be used to obtain discounts at participating pharmacies.

5.        Pharmacy Price Comparison: Compare prices for Arazlo at different pharmacies in your area or through online pharmacies. Prices can vary between establishments, so shopping around may help you find the best deal. Some pharmacies also offer price-matching or discount programs for cash-paying customers. For example you can buy Arazlo at the discounted price of $565.58 by using the WebMDRx coupon, a savings of 43% from the listed price.

6.        Patient Assistance Programs: In addition to manufacturer-sponsored programs, there may be independent patient assistance programs or charitable organizations that offer financial assistance for prescription medications. These programs may provide free or discounted medication to eligible patients based on financial need.

7.        Ask Your Healthcare Provider: Discuss your concerns about the cost of Arazlo with your healthcare provider. They may be able to provide guidance on cost-saving strategies, alternative treatment options, or therapeutic alternatives that are more affordable.

By exploring these options and taking proactive steps to find discounts or financial assistance for Arazlo, you may be able to lower the cost of your medication and make it more affordable for you. Be sure to discuss any concerns about the cost of Arazlo with your healthcare provider, who can provide guidance and assistance in finding cost-saving strategies and alternatives.


Joan David-Leonhard

Joan David Leonhard is a recent Pharm.D graduate with a strong passion for the pharmaceutical industry and a particular interest in pharmaceutical media and communication. Her brief internship experience includes roles in pharmacy where she built strong patient-pharmacist relationships and a pharmaceutical media internship where she actively contributed to drug information articles, blog posts, social media engagement, and various media projects.
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