biotechnology biotechnology

Peter Saltonstall, president of the National Organization of Rare Disorders, speaks at a rally Tuesday in support of tax credits for companies that develop drugs for rare diseases. Sarah Jane Tribble/KHN hide caption

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Sarah Jane Tribble/KHN

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, center, and other lawmakers have a plan to overhaul the tax code that includes a provision that would repeal a tax credit for makers of drugs for rare diseases. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

The theft of agricultural trade secrets is a growing problem, according to the FBI. University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability/Flickr hide caption

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University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability/Flickr
NPR, Kaiser Health News/Evaluate Pharma analysis for Kaiser Health News on Sept. 21, 2016

Drugs For Rare Diseases Have Become Uncommonly Rich Monopolies

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Virginijus Siksnys' large research team at the Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology in Lithuania. Arunas Silanskas/Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology hide caption

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Arunas Silanskas/Vilnius University Institute of Biotechnology

Science Rewards Eureka Moments, Except When It Doesn't

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A multi-million dollar effort to produce a test to guide treatment for a potentially lethal skin cancer recently fell apart after the scientific investigator discovered that the commercial antibodies he was using were unreliable. Cultura RM Exclusive/Peter Mulle/Getty Images hide caption

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Cultura RM Exclusive/Peter Mulle/Getty Images

In 2015, the Sandoz unit of drugmaker Novartis won Food and Drug Administration approval of a drug called Zarxio, which is similar to Amgen's Neupogen, a medicine that boosts the production of white blood cells. Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Sebastien Bozon/AFP/Getty Images

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco on Nov. 2, 2015. Jeff Chiu/AP hide caption

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Jeff Chiu/AP

Biotech's Theranos Offers A Cautionary Tale For Silicon Valley

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Multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera is on the top 10 list of most costly specialty drugs, as measured by overall spending, for California's health benefit system for public workers and retirees. John/Flickr hide caption

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John/Flickr

This genetically modified yeast can convert sugar into powerful opioid drugs. Scientists working with the modified yeast strains are required to register them with the Drug Enforcement Administration and keep the yeast under lock and key. Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University hide caption

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Courtesy of Christina Smolke/Stanford University

Engineers Make Narcotics With Yeast. Is Home-Brewed Heroin Next?

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