Thu, 10 Mar 2011

Price of preemie-preventing drug to skyrocket

How can this be? Glad you asked - it's a prime example of our marvelous government protecting it's citizens:

The drug, a form of progesterone given as a weekly shot, has been made cheaply for years, mixed in special pharmacies that custom-compound treatments that are not federally approved. But KV Pharmaceutical recently won government approval to exclusively sell the drug, known as Makena. The March of Dimes and many obstetricians supported that because it means quality will be more consistent and it will be easier to get. It seems no one anticipated the dramatic price hike.

Aren't doctors required to take Econ 101? Monopolies always increase prices, and the only way to get a monopoly is through government intervention. As a matter of fact, doctors themselves are a monopoly, granted through licensing and other restrictions on entry to the trade.

But you watch: this story will get picked up and spun as an example of "profit driven medicine" and "greedy corporations" - and the solution offered will be: more government regulation!

For years, a drug given to high-risk pregnant women to prevent premature births has cost $10 to $20 per injection. Next week, the price shoots up to $1,500, meaning the total cost during a pregnancy could be as much as $30,000.

(link) [CBS News]

Update: They backed down.

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