The pharmacoeconomics of acne treatment: where are we heading?

J Dermatolog Treat. 2008;19(1):27-37. doi: 10.1080/09546630701729895.


Introduction: The increasing recognition of the finite nature of health care resources has prompted the evaluation of the economic impact and value of medical interventions through pharmacoeconomic analysis. Despite the relevance and importance of pharmacoeconomics to dermatologic practice, there is a paucity of available literature on this topic. The purpose of this paper is to assess the number and quality of pharmacoeconomic studies applied to acne therapy as well as to provide a basic understanding of pharmacoeconomic analysis, its application to acne therapy, and the complex factors affecting the study of acne pharmacoeconomics.

Methods: A Medline search using the keywords acne, economics, cost-effectiveness, and pharmacoeconomics as well as a search of articles cited as references in the literature was used to identify pharmacoeconomic analyses for acne therapy. The quality of the studies was then evaluated by a standard model for evaluating the quality of cost-effectiveness studies.

Results: Only six studies using a formal pharmacoeconomic evaluation of acne therapy were found in the literature. All were graded either good or excellent in quality.

Discussion: There is a very limited amount of pharmacoeconomic data regarding acne therapy albeit good in quality thus far. Conducting further pharmacoeconomic studies could help maximize health care resources for the treatment of acne.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy
  • Acne Vulgaris / economics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Dermatologic Agents / economics*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Managed Care Programs / economics
  • Models, Economic


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Dermatologic Agents