High price may keep deflazacort drug out of several patients’ reach

High price may keep deflazacort drug out of several patients’ reach

A drug recently approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to treat a rare form of muscular dystrophy may be out of reach of many patients due to its hefty price.
Marathon Pharmaceuticals will sell the FDA-approved deflazacort drug under the brand name Emflaza for nearly $89,000 for a year’s worth of treatment. The figure represents 70 times higher price for the drug than what it costs outside the United States.

Marathon Pharma’s chiefe financial officer Babar Ghias told reporters that the net price of the drug will be $54,000 after some rebates and discounts. Still, the price will be too expensive for many patients to buy.

Ghias defended the heavy price tag of the drug, saying the high cost was justified due to the big amount of money the company poured into research and development (R&D).

However, a Massachusetts woman who has been purchasing the drug for her son with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), for just $1,600 per year from a British online pharmacy is not convinced with the company’s argument. She said she was very “disappointed” because Marathon boosted her son’s medical expenses by more than $87,000 a year.

DMD is a rare condition that damages the patient’s muscles and leaves several of them dead by their late-20s. According to CDC, this devastating condition afflicts nearly 200,000 individuals in the U.S.


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