Approvals for first-of-a-kind drugs climbed last year, pushing the annual tally of new US drugs to its highest level in 19 years.
The FDA approved 45 drugs with never-before-sold ingredients in 2015, edging past the previous year’s tally of 41, which had been the highest number since 1996.
One of the most expensive drugs of the year was Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Orkambi for cystic fibrosis, priced at $259,000 for a year’s supply. The drug improves lung function in patients with the deadly inheritable disease, which causes the buildup of sticky mucus throughout the body.
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