Yesterday a potential member was asking what discount I could get on her currents medications. This is a big attraction of direct primary care — I can get generic meds for my patients at their wholesale cost without markup.
That’s right, I buy them wholesale, just like Walgreens or CVS does, but there is no pharmacy or
insurance company markup, so patients save big.
So I wanted to find out how much a generic steroid would cost her – one exactly equivalent to the
strength of the one she was using. Here’s how I did it – and how you can, too. Before showing you this secret, there are four things you need to know about topical steroids.
1) First, although there are dozens of topical steroids — with dozens more combinations of strengths and
formulations — they all belong to one of just seven categories. So despite all the confusion people have
when looking at the names and numbers on the tube, just remember that every steroid belongs to one
of just seven strengths.
2) The second thing to understand is that there’s a big difference in strength among topical steroids.
Those in Class I are about 600 – 1,000 times stronger than those in Class VII.
3) Third, it’s also important to know that whatever percentage you see on a topical steroid’s label is not
referring to its strength; it only indicates the concentration of the drug that is contained in that
You simply can’t compare the percentages of any two steroids. For instance, a 0.03 percent Class I
steroid is much more potent than a 3 percent Class VII steroid. Always, always use the category number
to compare the strengths of steroids.
4) And finally, these 7 categories can be called ‘classes’ or ‘groups,’ depending on which part of the world you’re in. Some countries use Roman numerals (I – VII) while others use the Arabic numerals we
are accustomed to (1-7). And different organizations have different word descriptions for these 7
categories of potency, depending on what organization is defining these 7 categories.
But don’t worry. All you need to remember is that the seven different groups of steroids are ranked
from highest to lowest potency.
Then you can compare one steroid to another and know with certainty that whichever one is higher on
the list (the one that has a lower potency classification number) – is the stronger one.
You don’t have to be. Look below to see a chart (or click here for an enlarged view) I made that
demonstrates how 4 different organizations use different terms to describe the same 7 categories. And
always remember, whether it’s class or group, Roman numerals or the Arabic ones you easily recognize,