March of Dimes… Ther-Rx and Makena

Recently, I posted when the March of Dimes took its’ position on Ther-Rx and the availability of progesterone therapy to women in need of it.

Here is an update on the ongoing efforts of the March of Dimes concerning this important issue.

“MOD responds to Ther-Rx

In the past few weeks, there has been a torrent of concern over the availability of progesterone therapy for women hoping to prevent premature birth.  We have held discussions with physician groups, various organizations and the manufacturer of the drug.  Ther-Rx Corporation’s handling of the launch of Makena, and the initial list price, were extremely disappointing and unacceptable to the March of Dimes and the families we represent.  While Ther-Rx Corporation’s decision yesterday to reduce the list price of Makena to $690 and to expand patient financial assistance are steps in the right direction toward making an FDA-approved progesterone therapy product more widely available, it’s not enough.  The March of Dimes has decided to exercise our right to terminate our current contract and sever all professional relationships with Ther-Rx.

The March of Dimes will continue to explore all options for ensuring access to progesterone therapy for all medically eligible women. Access for women to treatment to prevent premature birth is and always has been our paramount concern. We hope that the controversy surrounding Makena has helped raise awareness that progesterone therapy is a safe and effective treatment for prevention of preterm birth and that more obstetricians will consider it for appropriate patients.

Tags: 17p, KV Pharmaceuticals, Makena, pregesterone therapy, premature birth, Ther-Rx

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Related posts: March of Dimes takes a stand...

March of Dimes takes stand….

I was so excited when I read this letter from the President of the March of Dimes to Ther-Rx regarding Makena.

As a maternal-child nurse and clinical social worker I know from experience how important it is for patients to be able to have access to important medications like Makena. I am so pleased to see the March of Dimes take such a pro-active response to the current situation concerning the affordability of Makena and its availability to the patients that need it.

Thank you March of Dimes!

March of Dimes demands action:

“A letter from Dr. Jennifer Howse, March of Dimes President, to Greg Divis, President Ther-Rx Corporation regarding Makena.

March 23, 2011

Greg Divis, President

Ther-Rx Corporation

One Corporate Woods

Bridgeton, MO 63044

Dear Mr. Divis:

Thank you for your letter of March 17th.  I am pleased to learn that you are ‘listening carefully to stakeholder concerns about list price, patient access, and cost to payers’.  Thank you for considering additional steps to ensure that Makena is available to all eligible women, and for  convening stakeholders from the March of Dimes, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine next week.

In advance of that meeting, I want to go on the record that March of Dimes expects Ther-Rx to come to the table  with substantive commitments including:

1) A significant reduction in the list price of Makena.

2) Adjustments to the patient assistance program to ensure adequate coverage of all patients, insured, uninsured and underinsured.

3) A method for reporting on a regular basis to stakeholders on the patient assistance program to ensure that it is meeting needs in a timely and adequate way.

4) A justification or rationale for your pricing based on your investment in the product, savings to the health care system, or other appropriate methodology, which you are prepared to make public.

Without these elements, I do not believe that Makena can succeed in the current marketplace environment, and as a result, at -risk women will be denied access to a safe and effective treatment to reduce preterm delivery.  Therefore if you are unable to make a clear commit-ment to significantly address the above issues at the meeting, the March of Dimes will need to pursue alternative strategies for ensuring that this proven intervention to prevent preterm birth is made available to all medically eligible pregnant women, and we will step away from our longstanding and productive corporate relationship with Ther-RX.  Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.


Jennifer L. Howse, PhD


Tags: 17p, Makena, Ther-Rx

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