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Funding Orphan Drugs: Pitfalls of the Orphan Drug Act

| October 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
Funding Orphan Drugs: Pitfalls of the Orphan Drug Act

The debate over cost and access to drugs has long raged between patients, health advocates, and pharmaceutical companies. For patients with “orphan diseases,” or rare diseases which affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States, this debate becomes particularly acute, as the Orphan Drug Act passed by Congress in 1983 threatens to drive up prices for highly specialized treatments. While the Orphan Drug Act has helped to bring drugs for rare diseases to millions of patients and continues to stimulate research and development of orphan drugs, the law is certainly not without its problems and caveats.

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