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Table 1 Orphan and non-orphan medicine (adapted from Spilker B)

From: A methodological framework for drug development in rare diseases

Orphan medicine Non-orphan medicine
Used in a limited patient population Used in a large patient population
Often used by only a few specialists Generally used by a wide variety or number of physicians
The manufacturer often loses money The manufacturer is more likely to make money
May require less patient exposure to obtain marketing authorization Usually requires a standard quantity of data before marketing authorization