KV Pharmaceuticals Wins The Future:
Preventing preterm births just got 150 times more expensive, now that KV Pharmaceuticals has gained exclusive rights to produce a progesterone shot used to prevent premature births in high-risk mothers.
Although the shot has been available in unregulated form from specialty compounding pharmacies for years for $10 a pop, the Food and Drug Administration recently granted KV Pharmaceuticals sole rights to produce the drug, which will be marketed as Makena and cost $1,500 per dose
And no, this isn't some new drug that they've spent untold billions researching and bringing to market (for those that reflexively spout corporate line). They didn't develop it, Squibb did, and Squibb did that back in the 1950s!
Hydroxyprogesterone caproate injections have been around since 1956, and were commercially available up until 1999 when Squibb, the pharmaceutical company making them, withdrew the product from the market. In the past few years however, studies have shown that these injections had a positive effect in preventing pre-term birth among women who had previously had a spontaneous pre-term birth in the past. Since then, doctors have been able to fill prescriptions for the synthetic progesterone using compounding pharmacies at a price of $10 to $15 per injection.
Most health insurances did not cover these shots as they were not FDA approved, but given the low price of progesterone, women were able to pay out of pocket for the treatment, says Moritz.
Gotta love "the free market" and "intellectual property rights" in action!