Rare diseases: All the rage in Big Pharma

Every once in a while, the stars align just right so that the itch to make a profit and to "do good" can both be scratched at the same time. And that is why pharmaceutical companies are jostling all over each other trying to get a piece of the action in rare diseases.

Have you ever heard of X-linked hypohidrotic ectodermal dysplasia? What about Fabry's disease? They are conditions that, while debilitating to those who suffer from them, impact so few people, it seems counterintuitive that giant pharmaceutical companies would be ramping up their R&D departments to find treatments and cures. But they are, with encouragement and help from the FDA and the Institute of Medicine. Click here to see five rare disease that have caught the interest of Big Pharma. Report

PLUS: With so few patients to treat and so much money spent on R&D, it's no surprised that drugs for rare diseases come at a very high price. The world's most expensive drugs.

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