What's a poor faltering drug company to do when it has been busted for misdeeds, its shareholders are up in arms and its former CEO has been fined, sent to jail and banned from the industry? In the case of KV Pharmaceutical, the answer was to get the FDA to give the company exclusive rights to a common generic drug for expectant mothers and raise the price from $10 per treatment to $1500 - a decision which has outraged doctors, US senators, and even the March of Dimes.
Early last year, the FDA made an eyebrow-raising decision to give exclusive rights to the generic drug to KV Pharmaceutical after declaring the drug to be an "orphan drug". As a consequence, low-income mothers and their babies will be put in grave jeopardy and a huge financial burden will be created for the health insurance companies, private citizens, and government programs that have to pay for it
The drug, Hydroxyprogesterone caproate, is a synthetic form of progesterone known commonly as 17P and it has been used since 1956 to prevent premature births. It is administered as a weekly injection, which means that the price hike for KV’s new drug could bring the total cost during a pregnancy to as much as $30,000.
Doctors say the $30,000 price tag will almost certainly deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births. “That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make”, stated Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program. “For crying out loud, this is about making money!”
Read More: How The FDA turned A $10 Treatment Into A $1500 Per Shot Money-Maker For A Sanctioned Drug Company