orphan drug

(OR.fin drug)
A drug used to treat a rare disease and for which the manufacturer receives special tax credits and marketing rights as an incentive to develop the drug.
Example Citation:
In 1983, hoping to encourage research, the government began offering tax credits, research grants and other incentives to companies working to treat rare diseases.
The incentives, provided under the Orphan Drug Act, worked. In the decade before it was passed, fewer than 10 orphan drugs came to market; since the act, 193 have been approved, nearly half of them in the last five years.
— Denise Grady, "In Quest to Cure Rare Diseases, Some Get Left Out," The New York Times, November 16, 1999
Earliest Citation:
Some drugs lag in development because they are intended to treat less common diseases and have a relatively small market potential. Sodium valproate for epilepsy was just such an "orphan drug" and, according to some experts, languished in the bureaucratic pipeline because neither its manufacturer nor the FDA gave it a particularly high priority.
— Matt Clark, "How Bad the Drug Lag?," Newsweek, October 9, 1978
A rare disease for which no company is actively working on a cure is often called an "orphan disease."
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Orphan drug — An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease. The assignment of orphan status to a disease and to any drugs developed… …   Wikipedia

  • Orphan Drug — Der Begriff Orphan Arzneimittel oder Orphan drug (von englisch orphan, „die Waise“, aus griech. ὠρφανός) wurde 1983 erstmals für Arzneimittel verwendet, die für die Behandlung seltener Krankheiten eingesetzt werden. Rechtlich korrekt spricht man… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • orphan drug — noun a) A medicinal drug which is effective in the treatment of some disease(s), but which is not manufactured or marketed because the demand is insufficient to cover the costs of supply …   Wiktionary

  • Orphan drug — A drug that is not being produced, often a medication useful only to a small population of patients. Also, drugs available outside the US but not approved by the FDA for sale in the US. * * * orphan drug n a drug that is not developed or marketed …   Medical dictionary

  • orphan drug — /ɔfən ˈdrʌg/ (say awfuhn drug) noun a medicine, vaccine, etc., which is intended to treat an orphan disease, and which, because it is not commercially viable, often requires special dispensation from regulation and government support to ensure… …   Australian English dictionary

  • orphan drug — or′phan drug′ n. pha a drug that remains undeveloped or is neglected because of limited potential for commercial gain • Etymology: 1975–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • orphan drug — noun Date: 1981 a drug that is not developed or marketed because its extremely limited use makes it unprofitable …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • orphan drug — Pharm. a drug that remains undeveloped or untested or is otherwise neglected because of limited potential for commercial gain. [1975 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • orphan drug — noun : a drug that is not developed or marketed because its extremely limited use (as in the treatment of a rare disease) makes it unprofitable …   Useful english dictionary

  • orphan drug — noun a synthetic pharmaceutical which remains commercially undeveloped …   English new terms dictionary

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