Optum is seeing an increase of new orphan drugs, and expects this trend to continue, if not accelerate, according to a drug pipeline report from the UnitedHealth Group subsidiary.

What makes this important, said Sumit Dytta, chief medical officer at OptumRx, is that orphan drugs are priced more than 30 times higher than non-orphan drugs. Almost 40% of new orphan drugs coming to market cost more than $100,000 per year, while cell and gene therapies can cost much more.

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