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Should a company that has been widely criticized over the cost of a drug that combats infantile spasms — a rare form of epilepsy — be feted at a dinner for testing its drug for another malady?

The company in question is Mallinckrodt (MNK) and its drug called Acthar Gel, which has been something of a poster child for the high cost of medicines. Over the past four years, the wholesale price rose 20 percent and a vial now costs $39,000, absent any discounts. The price has, sometimes, made it difficult for parents to obtain the drug, since some insurers have reportedly raised hurdles to coverage.


And last year, Mallinckrodt resigned from the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America just as the industry trade group took steps to convince the public that its members are devoted to research activities and dispel criticism drug makers are price gouging. The company explained the “significant financial and time commitment” required to be a member outweighed the “policy value.”

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