1. For once, some good news about drug pricing

Since the Orphan Drug Act was passed in 1983, the number of FDA approvals for orphan drugs has increased to records levels – 41 in 2015 alone. No shocker, orphan drugs have been criticized for commanding hefty prices. But a new study published in the journal Health Affairs found that orphan drug spending is only about 8.9 percent of total pharmaceutical spending. While that’s up from 4.8 percent before the ODA, the study projects spending will level off. That’s a big deal because *some people* blame rising drug spending on these rare diseases. The ODA has resulted in the approval of more than 552 orphan drugs overall, in many cases for diseases that had little or no previous treatments. Forward to your friend who thinks “big pharma is evil, bro.”