This whole Makena thing just keeps getting worse. Worse for women, because co-payments have sky rocketed and worse for the March of Dimes, whose every move proves they are just digging themselves a deeper hole.
I read yesterday (March 22) in stltoday.com that Dr. Alan Fleischman, the March of Dimes medical director was quoted as saying, “No one thought it would be $1,500 a dose.”
Uh, no Dr. Fleischman, you are wrong. People who follow the pharmaceutical industry predicted the price point!
Dr. Fleischman’s comments make me really, really angry. Because the March of Dimes hauls in millions and millions of dollars from individual and corporate donors alike. Because they pay their president, Jennifer Howse, more than $600,000 a year, have a huge staff, and a bunch of marketing people. All this expensive brain power should have helped them predict that Makena would be priced in this manner. It is how orphan drugs are priced.
I figured the price point would be high and that’s not even my job. I am a full-time doctor who looks after two formerly premature now almost eight year-old hellions and a three-legged dog. I scramble to write my blogs and do my research while making tacos for the kids and doing laundry. But I cared enough to look into it when the orphan drug status for Makena was awarded in February. Dude, “No one thought it would be $1,500″ just doesn’t cut it.
Sounds like the March of Dimes heard “patient assistance program” (which in my experience prove to be next to useless for most people) and just nodded. They took KV Pharmaceuticals’ word that every woman who needed the drug would get it. That’s kind of like taking the word of the Ferrari-driving flashy guy in the bar who says he never has one night stands and has never had an STD.
I’ve blogged before about how I think the March of Dimes is woefully out of touch with Makena and nothing they are saying or doing is changing my mind.
And getting in bed with Big Pharma? Well, the March of Dimes is finding out the hard way that can give you an STD, a socially transmitted one.