K-V Pharmaceuticals (KV-A)
Short interest: 21%
52-week high: $13.55
Current price: $1.35
Year-to-date performance relative to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index: Down 47%
K-V Pharmaceuticals earned a spot on the most-shorted list through sheer stupidity and greed. The company angered patients, physicians, insurers and lawmakers by pricing the premature-birth prevention drug Makena at $1,500 per shot even though the active ingredient in the drug was already widely available for just $10 per shot. When K-V tried to shut down access to cheaper, generic versions of the drug, non-profit groups like the March of Dimes balked and lawmakers called for investigations.
K-V ultimately gave in to the pressure by dropping Makena's price to "just" $690 per shot but the damage was done. Makena sales have disappointed and the company's balance sheet is weighed down with debt, emboldening shorts who view K-V's equity as essentially worthless.