Company news: the Orphan Drug Act's surprising savior; Pfizer settles Oregon suit

Share this article:

The National Organization for Rare Disorders commended actor Jack Klugman, who died on Monday, for his role in ensuring passage of the Orphan Drug Act of 1983. Klugman, known for his everyman characters, was enlisted in the effort by his brother Maurice, a screenwriter who suffered a rare cancer, according to The Washington Post. Maurice wrote an episode of Quincy, M.E. exploring the problem, and Rep. Henry Waxman invited Jack to testify on the plight of rare disease sufferers, earning the cause tremendous publicity. When legislation to address it hit a snarl in the Senate, the Klugmans shamed the bill's chief obstacle, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), with an episode of the medical drama alluding to his hijinks, said the Post. The bill, of course, passed, incentivizing pharmas to make rare diseases a major area of R&D and sparking the development of hundreds of orphan drugs.  “By portraying on his Quincy, M.E. television show the plight of people with rare diseases with no treatment, Mr. Klugman focused a spotlight on the need for incentives to encourage the development of therapies for small patient populations.  He did this in partnership with patients and patient advocates who had been unable to gain national attention until he lent his support,” said NORD.

Pfizer agreed to run a national corrective ad campaign to settle an Oregon Department of Justice suit charging the company with violating an earlier consumer protection settlement around EpiPen and Zmax marketing.  Terms of the settlement include “restrictions on promotional use of patient survey data and promotional claims about patient preference” and a requirement that DTC advertising “in any medium shall clearly and conspicuously disclose: ‘Zmax does not work against infections caused by viruses or the flu. Only your doctor can determine whether an antibiotic is indicated.'"

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Next Article in Business Briefs

Email Newsletters

MM&M Future Leaders

Register now

Early bird $1,950 before 31 October 2014

*Group discounts available on request 


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Business Briefs

Novartis said to be stepping out of HCV

Novartis is said to have relinquished rights to an investigational hep. C treatment, signaling its exit from the therapeutic space, according to a former partner's announcement.

Monday Moves: September 15

Hires and promotions for manufacturers, regulatory and agencies

Kantar acquires Evidências, expands Brazilian presence

The company's acquisition signals the growing importance of understanding the Brazilian healthcare market and evidence-based healthcare management services.