Medicine: The High Cost of Clotting

"A large bill like this is going to be a severe jolt to anyone, regardless of financial circumstances," says a neat card prepared by Cutter Laboratories of Berkeley, Calif, and handed out last week by doctors to patients or their kin. And with good reason: Cutter was talking about bills for one of the highest-priced medications currently in general use—fibrinogen, a fraction of human blood. Fibrinogen restores the clotting power of blood, which may almost vanish when a woman hemorrhages during labor, or in patients of either sex after major surgery. Average cost...