Duobrii® - A Combination Treatment for Moderate to Severe Plaque Psoriasis

Drug Review: Volume 21, Issue 7 - Download PDF

Plaque psoriasis is caused by inflammation of the skin that leads to the appearance of thick, raised, and red patches. These patches can be very itchy. Scratching aggravates the plaques which can lead to skin damage, bleeding, and plaque thickening.  This disease can also cause mental distress, such as social anxiety, as plaques can be aesthetically unappealing. In fact, people with plaque psoriasis are at an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide. In Canada, this disease affects approximately 900,000 people and typically occurs between the ages of 15 to 25 years old.

Currently, there is no cure. Treatments are focused on managing the signs and symptoms, such as reducing the dryness, itchiness, and thickness of the plaques. Emollients are the preferred first-line option which aim to moisturize the skin to reduce itching. If these provide insufficient relief or the condition is more serious, topical corticosteroids are used alone or in combination with other topicals, such as retinoids and vitamin D analogs, to reduce inflammation and decrease the thickness of the plaques.

Duobrii® is the first topical medication which contains a corticosteroid (halobetasol propionate) and a retinoid (tazarotene). In clinical trials, Duobrii® provided similar benefits in reducing signs and symptoms of plaque psoriasis as halobetasol propionate alone. However, Duobrii® is able to produce this effect with much less corticosteroid (one-fifth of the concentration compared to halobetasol alone). This reduces the risk of corticosteroid-related side effects that could occur with long-term use.

Duobrii® is priced at $200 per 100-gram tube and costs $3.00 per day.  It costs 40% less for each application with Duobrii® compared to using its individual ingredients separately, which are currently fully covered under Managed and Open formularies. Due to its greater cost-effectiveness, Duobrii® will be fully covered under both Managed and Open Formularies.

Drug Name


Drug Ingredients

halobetasol propionate/tazarotene

Annual Cost


Coverage Details

Fully covered

ClaimSecure Inc. reserves the right to amend in part, or in its entirety, its Special Authorization guidelines.



Canadian Dermatology Association. (2021) Retrieved from https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/skin/psoriasis/

National Psoriasis Foundation. (2021). Retrieved from https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis/