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Why PTC Therapeutics may have to lower the price on a $89,000-a-year drug it just bought

PTC Therapeutics is already facing a big question after buying Marathon Pharmaceuticals’ controversial $89,000-a-year Duchenne muscular-dystrophy drug: is down the only direction for its price from here?

After announcing the purchase early Thursday, PTC Therapeutics PTCT, -18.90% management said they planned to “re-examine the price” of the drug, Emflaza. They didn’t offer any detail about which direction it might go.

But to observers, it seemed like PTC Therapeutics was backed into a corner, especially after privately held Marathon Pharma’s pricing attracted the attention of lawmakers in mid-February.

“Even though PTC’s strategy around pricing wasn’t disclosed today, it is clear to us that the company has no choice other than dramatically lowering the price,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Simos Simeonidis.

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