Ronald Reagan & the Orphan Drug Act
Reagan was amazing for many reasons. Reaganomics ushered in the longest
economic boom in history. The Reagan Doctrine defeated the Soviet Union
without firing a shot. And Ronald Reagan was a great model of humility,
charity, and leadership for the young people of our nation.
recently I learned about something else Ronald Reagan did for our
nation. It really touched me because it directly helped my dear wife,
Kathi, who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
my wife was diagnosed with MS about ten years ago, one drug, Betaseron,
had recently come on the market. After that, other drugs quickly became
available including Avonex and Copaxone, then Rebif and Tysabri. I
always wondered why it took so long for the first drug to come on the
market and then why others followed so quickly.
these drugs, thousands of those diagnosed with MS would be severely
disabled, mentally, physically or both. In fact, until these drugs were
introduced, 50% of all patients diagnosed with relapsing and remitting
MS eventually had secondary progressive MS, the kind that severely
disables those who have this disease.
reading the Wall Street Journal of Monday, June 23, 2008, I came across
an article that explained why these critical drugs finally came on the
market. An opinion column by Ed Rensi, former CEO of McDonald’s,
revealed the reason:
"The Orphan Drug
Act, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, made it
possible for companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the
development of potential treatments for rare diseases. A rare, or
orphan, disease is defined as one that affects fewer than 200,000
Americans. By offering tax incentives for clinical trials of these
treatments and granting seven years of patent exclusivity once the drug
is approved—compared to an average of five years with most new drugs—the
Orphan Drug Act gave hope to collective millions of Americans living
with these horrible diseases."
is the 25th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the Orphan
Drug Act and all I have to say is, "Thank you Ronald Reagan." Without
this act my wife might be in a wheelchair or otherwise seriously
What a contrast to Hillary Clinton who demagogues
against drug companies and has even complained that a pill only costs
$.25 to produce. Of course, she forgets that it takes billions of
dollars in research to create such miracle drugs.
Didn’t she or
Obama ever notice that socialist countries build cars like Trabants and
live in misery, while capitalist nations live in prosperity? Didn’t they
ever notice that not one new drug is ever brought to the market from
nations where drug companies are not free to research, create, and make a
Once again, let’s hear a big round of applause for one of the greatest presidents in the history of our Republic—Ronald Reagan!