lawmakers seek pricing info on PTC Therapuetics' Duchenne drug
Send a link to a friend
[March 23, 2017] (Reuters)
- Two U.S. lawmakers sent a letter on
Wednesday to PTC Therapeutics Inc, seeking information about the
drugmaker's pricing strategy for its recently acquired muscle-wasting
PTC said last week that it would buy Marathon Pharmaceuticals LLC's
recently approved Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug (DMD), Emflaza,
and promised to re-examine the hefty U.S. price tag for the
treatment, known generically as deflazacort.
Marathon did not invent deflazacort and patients in the United
States had been able to import it for as little as $1,000, but lost
that option after Emflaza's controversial U.S. approval in February.
Marathon slapped a $89,000-per-patient annual price tag on Emflaza,
drawing intense criticism from U.S. lawmakers and forcing it halt
the steroid's launch.
"We urge you to keep the price of this relatively common steroid at
its current importation cost," Senator Bernie Sanders and
Representative Elijah Cummings wrote in a letter to PTC Chief
Executive Stuart Peltz. (http://bit.ly/2newjOw)
The lawmakers also requested to know if the company intends to
pursue an additional approval of deflazacort as an orphan drug to
treat juvenile arthritis.
Deflazacort belongs to a class of drugs called corticosteroids that
are frequently used to treat DMD and other conditions.
[to top of second column]
Independent Senator Sanders and Cummings, the top Democrat on the
House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government
Reform, had also questioned Marathon's exorbitant price tag.
PTC Therapeutics did not immediately respond to a request for
(Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.