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Price of Drug to Prevent Preemies Jumps from $20 to $1,500 After FDA Approval

Progesterone shots are used to prevent premature births in women who are at a high risk of them. But it was not available as a commercial product, so women obtained the drug from compounding pharmacies, which made it to order; the pharmacies typically charged about $10 to $20 per weekly shot.

However, last month the FDA approved Makena, a commercial form of the drug manufactured by K-V Pharmaceutical Company.  K-V plans to charge $1,500 per dose of the drug -- and at the same time sent letters to compounding pharmacies warning them of potential FDA action if don’t stop selling the cheaper alternative.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“About 500,000 U.S. infants are born prematurely each year. The March of Dimes estimates that about 10,000 of those premature births could be prevented if eligible women received Makena.”

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