Old, Generic Drug for Rare Disease Gets New Price Tag: $89,000 per Year
Remember when that pharmaceutical trade group launched a flashy ad campaign to convince consumers that it was different from the price-gouging Shkrelis of the industry? Well, one of its members just took an old, cheap drug and priced a year’s worth of it at $89,000.
The steroid drug, deflazacort, which treats Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has been approved overseas for years and is sold as a generic. Families here have been importing a year’s worth for around $1,200.
But Marathon Pharmaceuticals (a member of the PhRMA trade group) finally got it FDA-approved Thursday under an “orphan drug” status, which covers drugs that treat rare diseases. (Duchenne affects about 15,000 people in the US.) Under that status, Marathon has exclusive rights to sell deflazacort in the US for seven years.