Orphan Drugs

Drugs developed for rare diseases and conditions which, in the U.S., affect fewer than 200,000 people or which, in the EU, affect five or fewer per 10,000 people. Because sales of orphan drugs are likely to be small compared to their development costs, pharmaceutical companies are awarded exclusive rights to market these medicines for a period of time (usually seven years) as an incentive to develop them and bring them to market.