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Preemie prevention dose to jump from $10 to $1,500 in U.S. 2011-03-10 12:48:22
BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhuanet) -- The price of preventing preterm labor is about to rise drastically in the U.S. next week.
A drug for high-risk pregnant women costs about 10 to 20 dollars per injection. Next week, the price will shoot up to 1,500 dollars a dose, according to media reports Wednesday.
This means the total cost during a pregnancy could be as much as 30,000 dollars.
The massive increase comes after KV Pharmaceutical of St. Louis won an exclusive government license to produce the drug, known as Makena.
The drug, a form of progesterone given as a weekly shot, has been made cheaply for years by unlicensed chemists.
The March of Dimes and many obstetricians supported the move because it means quality will be more consistent and it will be easier to get, but none of them has anticipated the sharp price hike.
Doctors and campaign groups have been caught out by the move, saying that the price hike may deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births.