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Less of a Break to the Bank

The French drugmaker Pharnext is developing a treatment for Charcot-Marie-Tooth and it plans to price the drug so that it's relatively affordable, Stat News reports.

Though it will charge between $20,000 and $60,000 for a year's worth of treatments, Stat News notes that that is less than what some other drugs cost —treatments for some rare diseases run $100,000 a year. Indeed, high drug prices have come under fire recently, fueled in part by former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli's 5,000 percent price hike on a drug for toxoplasmosis.

But, whether the economics of their pricing scheme will work remains to be seen, Stat News adds. Shkreli, it notes, rationalized his price increase in part by saying it would fund the company's rare disease research.

"Do we want to charge less to save the system, or do we want to make short-term money?" Daniel Cohen, the chief executive of Pharnext, tells Stat News, adding that the company decided split the difference.

"We are a little bit romantic, but not that much," he says.

Critics say Pharnext is able to charge less because its drug — which hasn't been approved yet — combines older therapies and as the company doesn't spend much on research and development, Stat News adds.

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