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STAT Plus: A long-awaited report on orphan drugs in Europe suggests incentives to pharma need change

After being kept under wraps for a year, an expansive review of European regulations designed to spur development of drugs for rare diseases and children found the number of medicines has increased. But at the same time, drug makers often did not address some of the most urgent needs.

Instead, the pharmaceutical industry sometimes targeted more profitable therapeutic areas, raising questions about whether incentives offered to the pharmaceutical industry should be changed, according to the long-awaited report from the European Commission. As in the U.S., these incentives include market exclusivity for a period of time.

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