The scoop: Marathon’s R&D program for Duchenne MD drug likely came in at a bargain basement price
On Friday, as news spread about the FDA’s approval of Marathon Pharmaceuticals’ application for Emflaza (deflazacort) as an orphan drug for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, CEO Jeff Aronin went on the offensive over his plans to sell the drug at an $89,000 list price, which immediately drew scrutiny from some longtime observers of the industry.
Aronin pulled what has become a standard play out of the guide book for pharma companies facing price gouging charges. He told reporters at several publications, including the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, that it would take years for Marathon to become profitable, considering all the R&D costs that had been sunk into deflazacort. And — like Turing founder Martin Shkreli, caught on the horns of a controversy over Daraprim pricing — he vowed that patients would be protected, with payers covering the cost.
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