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Public Citizen Report: House Orphan Drug Proposal: A Windfall for Pharma, False ‘Cure’ for Patients

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In July 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act, a bill purported to provide “help and hope for patients through biomedical innovation.” Yet in many ways the “cure” presented by the bill is a false one. For example, one provision of the bill would give an extra six months of monopoly protection to manufacturers for brand-name medications granted an additional approval to treat an orphan disease. Public Citizen’s report explains how this provision could cost U.S. taxpayers, private insurers, and patients nearly $12 billion over the next ten years, while accelerating the current trend of non-innovative research into orphan drugs.