Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How YOU can help

YOU can make a difference and it will only take a moment of your time.  Please Help!
Copy the letter below, then follow these links to email your congressman and senator and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/FTC_Wizard.aspx?Lang=en
Paste and submit this letter and help save the lives of our future children in this country.


Dear ________,
I learned last Thursday that an affordable, safe, and lifesaving treatment for preterm labor called 17P has been monopolized by a pharmaceutical company (KV/Ther-RX under the drug name Makena) and will result in an price increase of 1500% .

In other words, what is currently costing patients
$200 for an entire pregnancy's worth of drugs will now cost the $30,000!!! 17P has been around for over 40 years and was produced safely by compounding pharmacies. It’s been affordable and accessible and research was publicly funded by the NIH in 2003.


The argument by the KV Pharm, the drug company is that it will now be safer and more consistent since it has FDA approval. The only problem with this is that “orphan drug” status was granted which removes all competition and this one company is monopolizing this product to a desperate patient population. KV did not invent this drug and it had previously been proven safe and effective by the NIH so it's unlikely that KV spent much money on research and development.

In response to the public outcry last week, KV announced a patient assistance program which claims they will not deny coverage to those who cannot financially afford it but when you read the strict restrictions on who would qualify, it's clear that next to no one will qualify under their terms.

It’s absurd to even need an assistance program for a drug that everyone could afford last week. Even if patients are covered by insurance for it, it makes no sense that health insurance companies and Medicaid should face such price gouging either. This will only cause premium costs to rise for everyone.

Since the FDA has already granted the “orphan drug” status, it’s unlikely they would be willing or able to revoke that. The best answer now is for our lawmakers to pass a law exempting 17P from "orphan drug" status.  Without this the number of children being born premature is sure to rise dramatically and many children will not survive and those that do will face a lifetime of disabilities.

Aside from the human cost, the financial cost will be outrageous.  $200 in drugs during pregnancy could save millions in NICU care and the costs associated with lifetime care for those with disabilities.  Now it’s being taken away from those who need it, is it any wonder our health care system is in trouble? 
The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, as well as the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine are speaking out against this: http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102667451069-188/20110311GoedekeLtr.pdf

We cannot allow this to happen. I respectfully request that you introduce a law exempting 17P from "orphan drug" status.



Sincerely,
____________


3 comments:

Allison said...

I will do this next week when my kids are in school! Let me know if there is anything else I can do. The social activist in me loves stuff like this!

lmworley416 said...

The Lord understands your pain! Praying!
Isaiah 53:1-3: Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Katie said...

I know it's a month after this was posted but I was just referred to it by a friend. I am just now finding out how difficult it noe is to get 17p if your insurance won't cover thr high cost of makena. Thank you for this letter! I'm sending out a couple ASAP and my family and friends will do the same! I have 20 more weeks til full term, only 9 until we are pass where my daughter was born! Thank you for our advocacy and fundraising efforts.