The drug Anderson has been taking all these years was originally approved in 1958 and used primarily to treat the eye disease glaucoma under the brand name Daranide, its price so unremarkable that he can't quite remember how much it cost at the pharmacy counter.
The zigzagging trajectory of the price of Daranide, now known as Keveyis, shows just how much freedom drug companies have in pricing therapies -- and what a big business opportunity selling extremely-rare-disease drugs has become.
In the early 2000s, Daranide was discontinued by Merck.
In 2008, a family affected by the disease that also owned Taro Pharmaceutical Industries, a generic pharmaceutical company, decided to acquire Daranide from Merck.
Daranide was approved half a century ago, often used to treat glaucoma.
Diuretics (water pills) listed in the 2005 Physicians' Desk Reference include Daranide
, Dyazide, Maxzide, Moduretic, Demadex, Edecrin, Furosemide, Dyrenium, Midamor, Diuril, Indapamide, Microzide, Renese, and Zaroxolyn.
These include acetazolamide (Diamox), dichlorphenamide (Daranide
) and methazolamide (Neptazane).