Orphan Drugs Now “Where the Money Is,” Says Willie Sutton’s Ghost When a dumb reporter asked “Willie” Sutton, the famous bank robber, why he robbed banks, he is reported to have said “Because that’s where the money is.” Duh!
Until a few years ago, if you asked a pharmaceutical company executive why his or her company developed and marketed an “orphan drug” — ie, a drug for a disorder affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. — you would likely have gotten a response such as “because there is an unmet medical need” or something similar.
Today, however, orphan drugs also have the potential to turn into blockbusters; ie, be where pharma’s money is at.
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Issue: Vol. 10, No. 14
Publication date: 22 September 2011
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