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Alexion's pricing rationale

At $389,000 per year, the cost of Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Soliris eculizumab, newly approved for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, comes in at the high end of drugs for ultra-orphan diseases. Still, the company does not expect payer coverage to be a problem, and Kaiser Permanente, for one, says it is less concerned about the prices of these kinds of drugs than the high prices of more widely used drugs with only marginal efficacy.

David Hallal, VP of U.S. commercial operations at ALXN (Cheshire, Conn.), told BioCentury the company took four main factors into consideration before establishing the price. These included the rarity and life-threatening nature of

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