Washington, DC – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing released the following statement in response to drug maker AstraZeneca seeking “Orphan Drug” designation for its widely-used cholesterol drug Crestor.
CSRxP Executive Director John Rother said: “Abusing rules and regulations to keep competitors out of the market is common in the prescription drug industry, but AstraZeneca’s latest undertaking is especially egregious. AstraZeneca is trying to maintain their monopoly and keep more than 20 million patients from accessing a lower-cost cholesterol medication. It’s morally wrong, punishes patients and their families, and keeps prices high for everyone.”
According to a recent New York Times article, AstraZeneca is attempting to block generic competitors from entering the prescription drug market when Crestor’s patent protection to treat high cholesterol ends July 8th. Last year, Crestor was prescribed 20.3 million times in the U.S. and sales totaled $2.8 billion.
In May, Crestor was approved to treat a rare disease that affects a few hundred American children. The approval gave Crestor seven more years of market exclusivity, only for treatment of the rare disease. Now, AstraZeneca wants to ban any competitor to Crestor, claiming doctors may improperly use generics to try to treat the disease.