Medicine for the Outdoors
Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Update on Zanfel Pricing

I recently received a note mailed to health care providers from Steve Sisler, Vice President of Sales Development for Zanfel Laboratories, Inc. Zanfel is a product used to decrease the skin reaction attributable to poison ivy and similar plants (e.g., poison oak and sumac). Here is an edited part of the note that I received:

While attending the recent American Academy of Family Physicians trade show, numerous health care professionals stopped by the Zanfel Laboratories booth to ask questions and gain additional knowledge regarding the Zanfel product and the overall disease state of urushiol-induced allergic contact dermatitis. Additionally, a great many prescribers voiced concern over the recent price increases of Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash. The conversations were very specific in that the retail price for Zanfel had increased to $42.99, $44.99 and even as high as $48.99 plus tax. These prescribers are aware of the retail price increases because their patients are calling them back after visiting CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. Their patients are aware that Zanfel had previously been sold for approximately $39.99 plus tax. These patients are upset because they believe that Zanfel Laboratories has initiated a retail price increase.

Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash has not had a cost increase in over 13 years. There has been no effort by Zanfel Laboratories to raise retail prices. The decision of certain pharmacies to increase the retail price of Zanfel is theirs alone.  Our suggested retail price remains $39.99 plus tax.

The final question I was asked at the AAFP trade show was, "Where is Zanfel Poison Ivy Wash stocked at a lower retail price?" The first retailer that comes to mind is the local independent pharmacy, which typically sells Zanfel under suggested retail. Additionally, Walmart is another alternative—there, it has a retail price of $34.86. Other retailers, such as Albertsons, Brookshire's, Discount Drug Mart, H.E. Butt Grocery, Harris Teeter, Hy-Vee, Jewel-Osco, Kinney Drug, Meijer, Pathmark, Publix, SuperValu and USA Drug, continue to retail Zanfel for $39.99 or less.

As always, we value your input. Please don't hesitate to respond with any questions or comments. You can reach me at or 800-401-4002 Menu Option #1. Thank you for your time.


Steve Sisler

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Tags: Bites & Stings , Products

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.