An old drug gets a ridiculously high price….again

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Are incentives for so-called "orphan drugs" being misused to jack up the price of one medication by 4000 percent?

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Photo by Chris Potter

A rare form of muscular dystrophy has long been treated in the US by a steroid imported from overseas at a price of $1200 a year. Now the FDA has approved its manufacture and distribution in this country by the drug company Marathon. The new price is $89,000 a year — reduced to $54,000 after rebates and discounts. We get perspective from Carolyn Johnson, who covers the business of medicine for the Washington Post, and Dr. Aaron Kesselheim, a professor of medicine at Harvard, where he's also Director of the program on Regulation, Therapeutics and Law.

Credits

Guests:
Carolyn Y. Johnson - Washington Post - @Carolynyjohnson, Aaron Kesselheim - Harvard Medical School - @akesselheim

Host:
Warren Olney

Producers:
Andrea Brody, Christine Detz, Jenny Hamel