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Update: Preterm Labor Drug Price Slashed--Editorial

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The drug called Makena, previously priced by KV Pharmaceutical at $1,500, is now priced at only $690.

Yay! Wait…what?

Information reported by Healthland.time.com revealed that this drug, which is used to prevent preterm labor, would now be slashed 55 percent. Also, KV Pharmaceutical offered Medicaid an additional 23.1 percent discount, and even stated that there would be a cost cap in place for Makena at the price of 15 injections.

All that and this same drug is only priced at $10 a dose at compounding pharmacies or independent pharmacies that previously had been mixing this drug for patients. Earlier, KV had threatened United States Food and Drug Administration enforcement actions on any compounding pharmacies that persisted in selling this medicine. But as of Wednesday, March 30, 2011, the FDA announced that these independent pharmacies could continue.

What is KV Pharmaceutical’s stance? Healthland.time.com quoted Greg Davis, CEO of KV, as saying in their latest press release, “Ensuring access to an FDA-approved sterile, injectable medication, manufactured under mandatory strict quality controls, is in the best interests of all high-risk women. We understand the concerns that key stakeholders raised under our original pricing structure.”

The public’s response to the new pricing? It closely mimics Senator Sherrod Brown’s comment in that same article, “Even with the new price, a full course of treatment of Makena will still cost more than $10,000. KV’s announcement is a small step in the right direction, but I remain extremely concerned about the enormous strain this drug will place on Medicaid budgets and patients with private health insurance.”

We the taxpayers have spent $21 million already in the development of this drug. In the end, KV has not as of yet given a substantial enough reason for the original price hike. Even the March of Dimes, which applauded KV beforehand, has notably distanced itself from this drug company.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.