U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown working to reduce price of drug for pregnant moms

YOUNGSTOWN — Pregnant mothers and their premature babies will ultimately pay the health price because they may not be able to afford the medicine that prevents premature births, a U.S. senator and local health officials say.

The progesterone-based medicine (hormone) that used to cost $10 to $20 an injection now costs $1,500.

The usual prescription is one dose per week for 20 weeks, said Dr. Oscar Khawli, who treats high-risk pregnancies at St. Elizabeth Health Center.

Cerebral palsy and other birth defects such as learning disabilities are an increased danger in premature births, Dr. Khawli said.

A medicine that previously cost between $200 and $400 per pregnancy is now about $30,000, said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who is attempting to force KV Pharmaceuticals, which has FDA approval to exclusively market the medicine named Makena, to lower the price.

For the complete story, read Saturday's Vindicator and Vindy.com

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