When people talk about expensive drugs, they usually are referring to drugs like Lipitor for high cholesterol ($1,500 a year), Zyprexa for schizophrenia ($7,000 a year) or Avastin for cancer ($50,000 a year). But none of these medicines come close to making Forbes’ exclusive survey of the most expensive medicines on the planet.
The nine drugs on our list all cost more than $200,000 a year for the average patient who takes them. Most of them treat rare genetic diseases that afflict fewer than 10,000 patients. For these diseases, there are few if any other treatments. So biotech companies can charge pretty much whatever they want.