Late yesterday, the March of Dimes made it official. They cut ties with KV Pharmaceuticals, despite a 10-year relationship, over the latter's decision to introduce the "preemie drug" Makena at a price of $1500 per dose (up from its previous $20 per dose price).
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes a March of Dimes spokesman as saying the company's Friday price reduction ($690 vs $1500) and expansion of financial coverage were "steps in the right direction" but not enough. March of Dimes President Jennifer Howse asked KV to "immediately cease and desist the use, distribution or publication of or reference to the March of Dimes name and/or logo on any materials or communications in connection with KV Pharmaceuticals."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, office also issued a statement following KV's price reduction, saying:
At a time when rising prices for prescription drugs are stretching the budgets of middle-class families, we can't allow pharmaceutical companies to price gouge pregnant women when it comes to vital medicines.
Sen. Klobuchar recently joined fellow Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in asking the Federal Trade Commission for an investigation into Makena's pricing. There is no indication that this request has been/will be withdrawn after KV's announced price reduction yesterday. The $690 list price is still about 45 times the former $20 list for the compounded drug.
Posted by Bruce Lehr April 2nd 2011.