This story also ran on NPR. This story can be republished for free (details).

Dr. Steven Curry has treated patients with snakebites since the 1980s — long enough to remember when the treatment represented its own form of misery.

The first medication he used sometimes caused an immune reaction called “serum sickness” — patients broke out in a severe, itchy rash. About 20 years ago, the drug CroFab entered the market and dramatically reduced the adverse reactions associated with treatment, said Curry, who works at a Phoenix hospital. He is a medical toxicologist, a specialist in treating patients harmed by poison or venom.

But the drug came with a sky-high price tag. In one case reported by Kaiser Health News and NPR, an

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