batten disease

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[DIGEST: Bloomberg, Fortune,, BizJournals, Biospace; FDA)

The FDA approved a new drug for a form of Batten disease, a rare inherited neurodegenerative condition which rarely allows children to live past their teens. But the drug retails at over $700,000 per year. This, and other drugs that treat rare diseases, are protected by what is known as the Orphan Drug Act. Originally created to encourage research and production of treatments for rare diseases, the Act has inadvertently produced monopolies that allow prices to skyrocket out of control, and corruption among drug companies as they try to push more product onto a tiny market.

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