new premature-birth prevention drug Makena by 55% after a public outcry over the
treatment's original price tag of $1,500 per shot.
The St. Louis-based company also said it would offer supplemental rebates and
noted that a majority of patients would pay significantly less for each shot.
The response came after K-V became the latest U.S. health-care company to face
scrutiny over medical prices perceived to be too high.
K-V's Ther-Rx unit had initially charged $1,500 per injection of the drug,
given weekly to prevent preterm labor. This sparked a backlash among consumers
and lawmakers because versions of the active ingredient of Makena,
hydroxyprogesterone, have been available since 1956 and were sold for as little
as $10 to $15 per shot.
While the latest price tag—$690 per shot—-is still much higher than the
alternate versions, it is lower than the drug's initial price. One lawmaker
Friday called the action positive; however, K-V's moves didn't satisfy all of
Two Democratic senators had sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission last month urging the agency to launch an investigation into potentially anticompetitive behavior because of the increase in the cost of Makena compared with compounded products.
Makena was given seven years of market exclusivity when it was approved under an FDA program that grants incentives to companies developing treatments for rare ailments.