Iron poor blood? For many of a certain age, mere mention of that phrase conjures the major advertising campaigns of yore for a popular, over-the-counter nostrum called Geritol. The tonic is still around and sells for less than what a first-run movie ticket costs.
Which leads to a different question that may burn many patients: Why are doctors and hospitals peddling Injectafer, a new and hot treatment for iron deficiency that happens to cost $14,000 per vial? The drug also must be given intravenously by trained medical personnel at additional cost in a doctor’s office, a clinic, or hospital.
Shefali Leuthra reported for the Kaiser Health News Service and NPR that doctors are ordering Injectafer and other pricey prescription drugs like Feraheme for big numbers of patients, particularly seniors because they suffer a common condition: