orphan drug


: a drug that is not developed or marketed because its extremely limited use makes it unprofitable

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, as reported by David Jensen, whose indispensable California Stem Cell Report first unearthed the Orchard case, Orchard received FDA designation for OTL-101 as an orphan drug, a breakthrough therapy and a rare pediatric disease designation. Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2021 Still, the multiyear saga highlights lingering questions about orphan drug exclusivity and how the FDA’s policies may influence drug prices. Sarah Jane Tribble, USA TODAY, 19 Feb. 2023 The company’s antibody Benlysta got orphan drug status from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of systemic sclerosis. Lisa Pham, Bloomberg.com, 1 Feb. 2023 The therapies have orphan drug status with European regulators. Dallas News, 29 Aug. 2022 This is because the Act grants seven-year exclusive marketing rights to companies who win an orphan drug designation. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 10 Oct. 2022 Taking advantage of the orphan drug path could smooth some of the bumps on the road to FDA approval. Kira Sampson, STAT, 28 July 2022 Two years after this child got her diagnosis, the Food and Drug Administration approved an orphan drug designed specifically for this disorder, called burosumab. New York Times, 2 Dec. 2021 The treatment appears safe in early stage trials in people and has won orphan drug status from the US Food and Drug Administration. Maggie Fox, CNN, 1 June 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'orphan drug.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of orphan drug was in 1981

Dictionary Entries Near orphan drug

Cite this Entry

“Orphan drug.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orphan%20drug. Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Medical Definition

orphan drug

: a drug that is not developed or marketed because its extremely limited use (as in the treatment of a rare disease) makes it unprofitable
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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