Irish drugmaker Horizon Pharma has raised the wholesale price of its combo painkiller, Vimovo, from $138 per bottle to $2979 per bottle over the course of four years.
Dublin-based Horizon acquired the U.S. rights to the medicine in November 2013, from AstraZeneca -- who was selling the drug for the wholesale price of $138 per bottle. According to the Financial Times, since Horizon bought Vimovo, it has raised the price on 11 occasions by an aggregate of more than 2,000 percent.
Vimovo pricing is especially controversial because the drug combines naproxen, which is sold over-the-counter as Aleve, and esomeprazole, a medicine that lowers the risk of stomach problems caused by pain relievers.
Currently, there are no FDA-approved generic, over-the-counter or clinically equivalent medicines to Vimovo.
Horizon contends that the wholesale price does not reflect the price that patients will pay, estimating that 98 percent of all insured Vimovo patients pay $10 or less out of pocket.