Orphan Drugs

An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease. The assignment of orphan status to a disease and to any drugs developed to treat it is a matter of public policy in many countries, and has resulted in medical breakthroughs that may not have otherwise been achieved due to the economics of drug research and development. In the US and EU it is easier to gain marketing approval for an orphan drug, and there may be other financial incentives such as extended exclusivity periods.


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