FDA approval leads to exorbitant drug pricing
When pharmaceutical companies are given free reign, people are forced to pay outrageous prices for prescription drugs. We recently learned about a shocking increase in the price of a drug that prevents premature births. This week, the drug’s price will exponentially increase from $15 per injection to an astonishing $1500 per dose!
Why is such an extreme increase possible? It’s an old drug that was reinvigorated in 2003, thanks to a Wake Forest study that proved its value. The drug has been available, but it didn’t carry the stamp of FDA-approved. Enter KV Pharmaceuticals and a sweet deal from the FDA. In exchange for taking on the responsibility of whipping the old drug into regulatory shape, KV will get seven years of exclusivity on the drug. In this case, the FDA gave the drug, now called Makena, orphan drug status, which simplifies the approval process—though this couldn’t’ have been a very onerous task in this case due to the existing research. What does this practically mean? For seven years, KV can charge whatever the hell they want for the drug.
We at RxRights know that we can’t trust big pharmaceutical companies to do the right thing. Profits always come before public health for them. Why hasn’t the FDA, an agency tasked with the mission of protecting and promoting public health, learned this lesson yet?