Think Progress, Mar. 12, 2011
Next week, the cost of preventing premature childbirth will skyrocket when a drug given to high-risk pregnant women goes from around $10 a dose to $1,500 a dose. The drug, called Makena, which has been made cheaply for years and is given as a weekly shot, could make the total cost during a pregnancy as much as $30,000. Why? Because KV Pharmaceutical of St. Louis recently won FDA approval to exclusively sell Makena last month.
By receiving “orphan drug status,” KV’s subsidiary Ther-RX Corp. will now be “the sole source of the drug for seven years.” In justifying the 14,900 percent price hike, KV Pharmaceuticals says that pregnant women will be willing to pay the new price because if they don’t, they could have a premature baby, or “preemie,” which could cost much much more.