Makena should be priced reasonably
Preterm delivery is the leading cause of death and disability in newborns in the United States. Most interventions to prevent preterm birth have proven ineffective, but at least 17-alpha hydroxprogesterone (17-OHP) reduces risk for recurrent preterm birth for those women who have been unlucky enough to have delivered early in the past. The drug has been widely available through compounding pharmacies at a reasonable price. At-risk women have been able to obtain the drug for less than $10/week, and cost for treatment for an entire pregnancy has been less than $200 for the drug. Many of us in the medical community were pleased by the news that 17-OHP was approved by the FDA and would be produced by the pharmaceutical industry. However, we learned on March 9th, 2011, that KV Pharmaceutical was pricing the drug at $1,500 per dose, a 150-fold increase over the current price. Cost of therapy for the duration of a pregnancy, if the drug were started at 16 weeks gestational age, would be $30,000. We feel that this pricing is unreasonable and unethical. We implore KV Pharmaceutical to employ a more rational pricing program for the drug. It is hard to fathom that a drug that can delivered so cheaply by compounding pharmacies would be so expensive to make by the pharmaceutical industry. If KV Pharmaceutical cannot produce the drug in a cost-effective manner, than an alternative must be found. The providers who have signed this petition care about the cost of health care in our country. We hope that KV Pharmaceutical will voluntarily drastically reduce the price of 17-OHP to the public. If they will not, we hope that the appropriate government agencies will take corrective action.