Congress Weighs Repeal of Tax Credit for Rare Disease Drugs - (The New York Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are considering a repeal of a tax credit designed to spur the development of treatments for rare diseases, The New York Times reported.

  • Supporters contend that the tax credit, who was part of the 1983 Orphan Drug Act, has help to stimulate the development of more than 500 new treatments for rare diseases, while critics claim drugmakers have used the orphan drug designation for blockbuster treatments such as AbbVie's Humira and Crestor.

  • Commenting on the news, Knowledge Ecology International director James Love remarked "I think it opens up the debate on the orphan drug tax credit, which we think is a flawed incentive," continuing "and I think that's a positive thing."

  • The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America praised lawmakers efforts to revise the tax code but encouraged policy makers "to maintain initiatives" to develop orphan drugs.

  • Scrutiny of the tax credit has come as Alexion recorded more than $2.8 billion in revenue for Soliris even though the product is only authorised for treating three rare diseases.

  • Earlier this year, three Republican lawmakers initiated a probe into potential abuses of the Orphan Drug Act.

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