Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings have asked explanation on the “outrageous” (as they have called it) list price that the recently approved Duchenne, muscular dystrophy (DMD) drug Emflaza (deflazacort), once will be on the market: $89,000.
The concern are based on the fact that the drug is not a “new” one and it has been available in Canada and UK (where it has been available for about $1,000 a year) for decades.
That’s why they have been asking the company to provide documents and information about how much it spent developing the drug and how it set the price as, Cummings and Sanders says in their letter,: “Marathon did not develop deflazacort. Rather, Marathon acquired the rights to historical clinical trial data from the 1990s and completed some additional analyses to gain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to sell the drug in the U.S.”
The two politicians have also accused the company to take advantage of the FDA program, the orphan drug program, that will give it seven years of exclusive sales rights for the treatment.
As a consequence Marathon Pharmaceuticals will pause the launch of Duchenne “for an unspecified amount of time”.
In a statement the company says it expects patients will pay a standard co-pay of $20 per prescription.