How to Turn a $10 Treatment into a $30,000 Drug Money-Maker
April 07, 2011
A synthetic form of progesterone was given FDA approval more than half a century ago, and ever since doctors have been prescribing it for their patients with high-risk pregnancies through compounding pharmacies at about $10 per dose.
But recently it was designated an "orphan drug" by the FDA, meaning that the company KV Pharmaceutical was given the exclusive right of production and sale.
They immediately raised the price from $10 per dose to $1,500. Since the drug comes in the form of a weekly injection, that means a price hike for at-risk pregnant women that could be as much as $30,000.
According to the Alliance for Natural Health:
"An orphan drug pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a relatively rare medical condition, and the designation gives the manufacturer clinical trial tax incentives. It also gives the manufacturer the exclusive right for seven years to manufacture and sell the drug. Of course in this case, premature birth is not a rare condition at all."