New Money from Old Drugs. Are children with muscular dystrophy being served by the free market or taken advantage of?
I suspect that it is just because people are paying attention, but reports of unexplainably excessive pricing of both new and old drugs keep coming too fast to keep up with. I recently published a list of 447 drugs whose prices doubled or more between 2011 to 2015. Even that list was incomplete! This week’s prize winner is Emflaza, a drug that was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
The price proposed by Marathon Pharmaceutical, LLC is $89,000 per patient per year. We may be getting desensitized to such patient-bankrupting offerings, but what makes Emflaza stand out from the offending crowd is that in Canada, where some of the original research appears to have been done, the same drug for the same disorder costs a dollar a pill or less. As noted in the Wall Street Journal, the price set by Marathon is 50 to 70 times what most U.S. patients currently pay to buy the drug (illegally?) from on-line pharmacies in the United Kingdom. The more I learned about Emflaza, the more troubled I became. Allow me to share some of my discomfiture with you. Continue reading “Is Emflaza the Latest Drug Pricing Rip-off or Not?”