Industry Unimpressed With KV’s Makena Price Cut

3 April 2011 (Last Updated April 3rd, 2011 18:30)

KV Pharmaceuticals' decision to reduce the price of its pregnancy drug Makena by 55% has been deemed as "woefully inadequate" by health professionals in the US. KV obtained exclusive rights to Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate), an intravenous drug recommended for women at high risk

KV Pharmaceuticals' decision to reduce the price of its pregnancy drug Makena by 55% has been deemed as "woefully inadequate" by health professionals in the US.

KV obtained exclusive rights to Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate), an intravenous drug recommended for women at high risk of delivering prematurely last month, and promptly raised the price from $20 to $1,500.

Today, the firm has reduced the price to $690 per injection, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says the price is still too high.

In a statement, ACOG said that KV's decision "clearly acknowledges the negative impact of their original pricing strategy. Although this may seem like a relatively significant price reduction, unfortunately it remains a woefully inadequate response".

"This 'lower' price still remains prohibitively high for a safe and effective treatment that is currently available at a much lower price in the form of compounded 17 hydroxyprogesterone caproate," the statement continued.

The news follows last month’s announcement that KV had sent threatening letters to pharmacies indicating that the US Food and Drug Administration would punish companies who compound versions of Makena, a statement the FDA said was "not correct".

Now, KV says it will offer supplemental rebates that, in conjunction with the aforementioned cut and the standard Medicaid rebate of 23.1%, will result in a substantially-reduced cost per injection.

Through various measures, KV now says 85% of patients will pay $20 or less for the treatment.

Chief executive Greg Divis said in a statement, "We understand the concerns that key stakeholders raised under our original pricing structure. We also recognise the current budget challenges facing state Medicaid programs and other payers.

"In conjunction with our substantial reduction in price, it is our sincere hope that all committed stakeholders will take appropriate action to provide timely access to this important FDA-approved medication."