New gene therapy drug expected to hit market with head-spinning price tag

Kimberly Adams May 22, 2019
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Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis' Basel headquarters. SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images

New gene therapy drug expected to hit market with head-spinning price tag

Kimberly Adams May 22, 2019
Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis' Basel headquarters. SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images
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The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve a new gene therapy drug from pharmaceutical company Novartis by the end of May.  

  • Zolgensma is a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy
  • Hundreds of children are born in the United States each year with the genetic, muscle-wasting disorder that kills many sufferers before they reach their second year
  • Industry analysts expect the price for the single-treatment therapy to be from $1.5 million to $5 million
  • Insurance companies might be reluctant to cover the drug
  • Zolgensma represents a coming wave of gene therapy drugs that likely will carry whopping price tags


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