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After a new version of an old drug gets orphan status, the price skyrockets

After a new version of an old drug gets orphan status, the price skyrockets



For years, hospitals and clinics have used an injectable medicine called dehydrated alcohol to treat such maladies as chronic pain or to prevent infections in patients who must receive nutrients intravenously. Yet after a small company won a monopoly to sell its version for use with a specific heart procedure, the cost for a pack of 10 vials is about to spike from about $1,300 to nearly $10,000.

Not surprisingly, the sudden jump in price has outraged medical facilities, which now expect to pay untold millions of dollars more each year for a medication that has been available for decades.

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