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Inflation exists, as we all know. But how does a drug that has been repeatedly used for high-risk pregnant women go from just $10-$20 per injection to $1,500 a dose? That’s what has happened in the case of Makena, a medicine used to prevent preterm labor.
Medical professionals have exclaimed everything from shock and outrage to utter disbelief. But it’s not like they didn’t hear of KV Pharmaceutical winning governmental approval to exclusively sell this drug. Even the March of Dimes celebrated this approval in their own press release, reported MSNBC.com. Then again, the March of Dimes does receive a large amount of funding from Ther-Rx Corp, a KV Pharmaceutical subsidiary, which will be responsible for marketing Makena. So although they knew about this move, doctors and medical professionals did not expect the gigantic hike in cost.
It is important to note that this drug, a synthetic form of progesterone, has been around 50 years so development and research had already been done. Why then the exorbitant price? MSNBC.com even quoted Dr. Roger Snow, deputy director for Massachusetts Medicaid program, who stated that this increase was huge for a drug that was not all that expensive to make in the first place. How does KV justify the costs? Maybe they feel like the classic credit card commercial: Makena: $1,500 a dose; the chance to possibly erase the risks of mental and physical disabilities that preterm births may bring: priceless. But the real question is - should it be? Especially when many of the mothers who experience this type of pregnancy are mothers who are uninsured and low-income.
To solve this problem, Ther-Rx announced a patient-assistance program to help these individuals. While that sounds good in theory, the working class all know that somewhere along the line, someone will have to pay. The first to feel the brunt will be the insurance companies. As a result, they will more than likely have to raise insurance premiums and other fees to their clients. And lastly, a measure will be laid on the already cash-poor state Medicaid programs.