Orphan drug announces new pricing, new distribution

August 28, 2007

H.P.Acthar Gel is a natural form of adrenocorticotropic hormone, now cleared to treat multiple sclerosis exacerbations. Questcor Pharmaceuticals is also seeking approval for a new indication—to treat the orphan disease infantile spasms.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals has changed the way its product H.P.Acthar Gel is priced and distributed. A natural form of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), the product is now cleared to treat multiple sclerosis exacerbations, but the company is also seeking approval for a new indication—to treat the orphan disease infantile spasms. As of the end of July, Acthar is available only through the specialty pharmacy Curascript, instead of through multiple distributors. Also, in line with use for a rare diseases, the product is now priced at $80,000 to $100,000 per course of treatment. The Union City, Calif., firm said that it has expanded its participation with the National Organization for Rare Disorders and is setting up medical science liaisons to work with health professionals who administer Acthar as a safety net for patients who cannot afford the treatment. Questcor acknowledged that because of Acthar's new pricing model, some third-party payers may balk at paying for the product.

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