A progesterone hormone injection, used to prevent preterm labor, used to be $10 a shot. Now that the FDA has assigned an exclusive right to create the easily-made formula to one company, KV Pharmaceuticals, the price has risen to $1500. Almost all of it is pure profit, and KV Pharma did not develop the drug or pay for its trials: the taxpayer did, via the National Institute for Health. It is said to be the only drug proven to prevent pre-term birth, and an expert cited by ABC News suggests that the profession was snookered into supporting the assignment as a quality standardization measure. (Source)So what was your immediate reaction? I could not really read your mind, but was it something along the lines of WTF?? Yes, friends and neighbors, the FDA, an agency of the government that is supposed to be looking after the interests of us drug-consuming citizens out here has managed to screw us royally once again. Read this damn thing again. Here are the salient facts:
- A drug injection has been developed to keep a woman from going into premature labor.
- This is the only drug known to prevent this.
- We the taxpayers paid to have the formula for it developed and tested.
- The formula for this drug is no big deal, it's "easily made."
- But exclusive rights to the formula have been awarded to a single company.
- The price has now gone from $10 a shot to $1,500.
- The "profession"--presumably the medical profession--was tricked into believing that assignment to this company was "a quality standardization measure."
OK. I'm down with 1-4. But 5-7 singularly ratchet up outrage. How can "exclusive rights" be granted to a company when it's had nothing to do with the drug from inception? How can the FDA allow said company to raise the price on the drug one hundred and fifty times more than it is worth? How can the medical professionals be "snookered" into letting this happen?
There's no explanation that works for me other than the fact of collusion between big Pharma and the U.S. government to just screw the living hell out of us. This is but a variation on a theme whereby corporate America (as well as the very wealthiest among us), abetted by government at all levels and branches, continues to suck us like vampires until we shrivel and die.