Endpoints has done a great breakdown on the actual costs that Marathon Pharmaceuticals is likely to have incurred while bringing their wildly overpriced old generic steroid to the US market. They did no new registrational studies in the clinic, in case you’re wondering. There was a drug-drug interaction study, ADME work, that sort of thing (standard for all clinical programs) but nothing big. None of the experts consulted can make Marathon’s costs come in higher than $70 million, and it could well have been a lot less than that (one person said it could have been done for as low as $10 million).
So if you’re wondering what it costs to get a nearly 30-year-old drug, discovered by someone else, with it already being manufactured for many years now, onto the market after someone else already did all the major clinical trials for you 20 years ago, there’s a rough estimate. I can’t help but notice how close it is to what the likes of Donald Light imagine that it takes to develop a real drug from scratch, which tells you what sort of fantasy world those other estimates come from. Marathon came in with all the expensive stuff already done; they mostly had to just blow the dust off of it. My own views on this can be summed up as “pricing power should go to those who have earned it”.
The article also casts a great deal of doubt on their CEO’s statements about all the work they had to do, all the costs, and also what a great favor they’re doing the Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients as well. All crap. But hey, they’re going to rake in the cash, so who cares? I have to give them credit – they’re really caught the zeitgeist, damn it all.