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Did You Know You Could Get Taclonex Heavily Discounted?*
from Richard K.

I've had psoriasis for about 15 years ... never really that bad other than a spot on my elbow about the size of a dime and a spot on my knee about the size of a baseball (plus in and behind the ears, scalp ...).

Had been using Lidex until it got too expensive and then (the generic Lidex) fluocinonide (cream, solution and oint.) ... but they've been working progressively less and less over the last few years. I also tried Argan Oil ... but that never really did much except make me feel oily. I finally decided to go to a psoriasis specialist at Univ. of Pennsylvania (hoping to get a prescription for a personal Narrow Band UVB Lamp ... because the sun in Mexico really helped my lesions the last 2 times I was down there). Instead, (to my dismay) I was prescribed a different steroidal ointment (generally not a fan of the use of steroidals) ... Taclonex.

Now, here comes the maddening part. The doctor prescribed a 60 gram tube and, although I have a good health and prescription plan, the pharmacy said my co-pay was going to be $129 on a $4XX retail price of the tube. This was shocking to me, so I asked them not to fill the prescription until I could do some research on Taclonex on the net to see if people were getting good results from it.

After finding positive feedback about the ointment, I wanted to read the product package insert for contraindications, so I went to taclonex.com. I was pretty astonished to find that Warner Chilcott (distributor of Taclonex in the U.S.) has a "Patient Savings Program" that will get you a 100 gram tube for $50 without any additional co-pay with your pharmacy. Why my doctor didn't know about this, I don't know (yes, I'm a little annoyed about that).

I read in other Psoriasis forums that some people only had a $5 co-pay or $35 co-pay anyway, so this wouldn't apply to them. I however, (thinking that I had a good prescription policy) couldn't stomach the $129 for a 60 gram tube if I wasn't sure that it would even work better than fluocinonide. But, anyone who wants to try Taclonex but thought they couldn't afford it should know about this program.

Well, only after about 10 days using Taclonex, all of the lumpy (sometimes painful) lesions, itching and the flakes are gone even though the redness is still there. For now, I can live with that. It seems to be doing a fine job (and way better than fluocinonide, at least for me).

Anyway, I know Taclonex works differently for different people. But if you've held off on using it because of the extreme cost. Go to the taclonex website and sign up for the savings program. There's an 800 number there and you can sign up right over the phone ... they give you your ID & Group #'s right on the phone so you can walk it right over to your pharmacy.

-Richard K.

*****

Ed's Response: Thanks for this item, Richard. The manufacturer's discount was unknown by me! We introduced Taclonex at FlakeHQ in the March 2006 Briefing. It is the American version of a popular combination of betamethasone dipropionate and calcipotriene (a corticosteroid and vitamin D derivative, respectively). Quite a bit earlier this combo was marketed in Europe as Dovobet. In the U.S., some derms were prescribing the two separate ingredients and advising flakers to mix them together and apply them to lesions.

The idea behind the corticosteroid/vitamin-based combo is two-fold. First, using a powerful corticosteroid full-strength on a significant skin area is not something you are supposed to sustain for long periods of time. Secondly, the vitamin D derivative by itself (Dovonex) was not tremendously effective for many flakers. Third, combining the two would dilute the steroid, making it less dangerous for long term use on a wide area, while giving the vitamin derivative a little boost from the steroid. We received a number of positive and negative reports about Taclonex experience, but the price was -- as you've experienced -- a real show-stopper for many.

I applaud Warner Chilcott (or whomever is responsible) for the decision to offer the discount.

And again, thank you Richard for bringing it to our attention. -Ed

*****

*Posted in early May on Psorchat. Members can read it here: http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/PsorChat/message/9855

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