Price slashed for drug to prevent preemie births

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Price slashed for drug to prevent preemie births

Huffington Post – The maker of an expensive drug to prevent premature births slashed the price by more than half on Friday, following an outcry over the high cost and moves by federal regulators to keep a cheap version available.

The drug is still pricey at $690 per weekly injection but it is a drastic reduction from the $1,500 price charged by KV Pharmaceutical Co. when it went on the market last month. The company also announced rebates and other steps to give the drug to needy pregnant women at little or no cost.

The price cut came two days after federal officials said they would not stop specialty pharmacies from continuing to make a generic version that sells for $10 to $20 a dose, as has been done for years.

The company got government approval in February to exclusively sell the drug named Makena (mah-KEE’-nah). But the price stunned doctors who prescribe the drug and private and public insurance plans, including state Medicaid programs, that pay for it. The drug is given to high-risk pregnant women to avoid another early birth.

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