Pricey Pills

The FDA has just approved the gene therapy Zolgensma (Latin for staggeringly expensive). It’s a treatment for an inherited disease called spinal muscular atrophy, a condition affecting 450 newborns/year in the US. If untreated, it typically kills its victims by age two. Its manufacturer says it will cost $2.125 million. It replaces a drug costing $750,000 the first year and $375,000/year thereafter, forever! So objectively, Zolgensma is a bargain. Yikes.

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