Thursday, March 10, 2011

Capitalism at it's best

Capitalism in it's purest form seeks to maximize the corporate profit while minimizing investment. Having a consumer base is an absolute must, and for optimal profitability, there is no better consumer base than a captive one. That explains why heroin distribution has always been seen as such an exciting career opportunity. You just can't beat if for repeat business, and whatever the price of your product, the price is always right.
Prescription drugs are a mighty fine market to have a stake in as well, and unlike smack, they have the additional benefit that the entrepreneur is rarely murdered or arrested. You have the same repeat customer base with the same understandable fear that they will get very sick if they don't get your product.
For a number of years there has been a weekly injection given to women in high-risk pregnancies. A form of progesterone, it doesn't have a cool name because it's been prepared in pharmacies that do compounding. It has been proven effective in preventing premature births, which is a good thing because preemies, when they live, can rack up one hell of a medical bill. The cost of the drug is about fifteen dollars an injection.
Recently a company by the name of KV Pharmaceutical obtained FDA approval to manufacture and market the drug through their Ther-RX corporation. They gave the drug a cool sounding name, Makena, but branding it was about all the effort they had to put into it because the drug had already been developed. Doctors and pharmacies were happy about this development because it meant one less potential liability issue they had to deal with, and women were happy because the more ready availability meant they wouldn't have to visit a doctor in a town where they had access to a compounding pharmacy.
Yesterday, Ther-RX announced the availability date of Makena (next week), as well as the cost - $1500 a dose, 100 times the cost of the previous formulation. (Pepe the Pill Pusher's eyes just fall out of their sockets as he realizes that he chose the wrong business model.) With a woman receiving as many as twenty injections that's $30,000 dollars, an expense most aren't prepared to deal with. But don't worry, KV Pharmaceutical has it under control, and your co-pay will be a reasonable $20 per injection.
"I'm breathless," said Aetna Insurance's Dr Joanne Armstrong, and well she should be. Did you ever wonder why Medicaid costs and insurance premiums keep going up? You might think they would just say there weren't any problems with the old drug so just stick with that, but they can't. In a happy coincidence, KV has sent cease-and-desist letters to compounding pharmacies warning of FDA enforcement should they continue.

There may be those who see KV Pharmaceutical as capitalism at it's worth, but at the end of the day they need to look in the mirror and ask themselves one question - why do you hate America?

1 comment:

  1. Fuck it. I'm taking an Ambien and going to bed. . . where I can dream about all these mofos getting injected with meat tenderizer and tossed into a giant blender and. . .