Patients Fear Spike in Price of Old Drugs

December 23, 2015

The New York Times (Tavernise, 12/22, subscription publication) reported that Catalyst Pharmaceuticals completed an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for approval of Firdapse, a modified version of a drug used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS). "Catalyst estimated that it could make $300 million to $900 million a year from the drug ... that could eventually benefit as many as 8,000 patients. That works out to possibly more than $100,000 per patient. ... Catalyst’s move has brought fears among patients of a punishing price increase and led to a recent call from more than 100 neuromuscular doctors for 'ethical and just pricing.'"  This is noted as an example of "the growing tension in the United States over the rising prices of drugs."