Did the FDA approve a drug to appease a patient lobby?

The drug is Exondys 51 (eteplirsen) used to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy.  Big insurance company ANTHEM is denying payment while two other insurers say they will cover the cost of this treatment.  The drug costs $300,000 a year.  Evidence for its effectiveness is said to be marginal at best.  [LA Times Oct 28, 2016]  Muscle fibers were modestly increase with use of the drug. [Annals Neurology Nov 2013]  Affects patients experience a slower rate of decline on the drug. [Annals Neurology Feb 2016]  Side effects include vomiting (38%), imbalance (38%), skin rash (25%), joint pain, bruising, upper respiratory tract infection. [RxList]  FDA approval for Exondys 51 was issued on September 19, 2016. [FDA.gov]

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