Marathon Pharma to sell decades-old drug to treat DMD for $89,000

Marathon Pharma to sell decades-old drug to treat DMD for $89,000

Marathon Pharmaceuticals will reportedly market decades-old drug deflazacort under the brand name Emflaza with a top price tag of roughly $89,000 for a year's worth of treatment, nearly 70 times higher than the drug's price overseas.

The drug in question is a common steroid that can be used to treat a rare disorder called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which damages the patient's muscles and leaves many of patients dead by their late-20s.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), patients can shave the steroid for less than $1 through online pharmacies, while Marathon will market the drug for roughly $89,000 for a year's worth of treatment.

It is quite surprising how a company can get away with such a shocking list price for the drug in the U. S. It is because the drug was never approved in the country despite its widespread availability to treat other conditions, such as arthritis, in many other countries.

Since Marathon recently won the FDA's approval to treat a condition that afflicts fewer than 200,000 people in the U. S., and there has been a dearth of treatment options, the Illinois-based pharmaceuticals giant has carte blanche over the drug's pricing.

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