Valley fever medication skyrockets

Concern treatment will be unaffordable

PHOENIX - The cost of treating patients with valley fever is on the rise.

The Arizona Republic reports that a sampling of prices in the Phoenix area for the generic drug fluconazole shows the cost has surged exponentially in recent months.

The drug is commonly prescribed to treat the airborne fungal disease, which can bring on fever, chest pain, coughing and other symptoms.

The price hike has doctors worried that uninsured patients will have trouble paying for the drug, which some people must take for months to cure the disease.

Veterinarians and animal-rescue groups say another concern is for dogs and other animals that are much more susceptible than people.

At one pharmacy, the newspaper reports a one-month supply of 100-milligram tablets increased from $5.50 in June to $52 in mid-July when a manufacturer raised its price.

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