Companies cash in on orphan drugs
Incentives intended to stimulate the development of more treatments for rare diseases are being exploited to boost the profits of pharmaceutical companies, new research led by Bangor University in Northern Ireland says.
Researchers found that companies which market drugs for rare diseases - known as orphan drugs - are five times more profitable and have up to 15pc higher market value than other drug companies.
The study examined the performance of 86 publicly-listed companies which produce nearly 200 orphan drugs.
It did this by comparing with 258 matched control companies, which are not manufacturers of orphan drugs.
Lead researcher, Dyfrig Hughes, said diseases which affect five in 10,000 of the population are considered to be rare.
Health & Living