Tags: luxturna | gene | therapy | blindness

Luxturna Gene Therapy for Blindness Priced at $850K

(CNBC)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 January 2018 01:19 PM

Luxturna, a new gene therapy drug used to treat blindness, carries a price tag of $850,000.

That is less than the initial expected cost of $1 million, which was lowered by drugmaker Spark Therapeutics amid concerns that health insurers would not be able to cover the treatment, The Associated Press noted.

"We wanted to balance the value and the affordability concerns with a responsible price that would ensure access to patients," CEO Jeffrey Marrazzo told the AP.

Luxturna, which received FDA approval last month according to CBS News, can greatly improve the vision of people suffering from a rare form of blindness.

The condition affects a few thousand people in the U.S. and because of this the therapy has only been tested on a handful of people.

Nevertheless, the drug has received approval and is touted as the nation's first gene therapy for an inherited disease.

"Many were anticipating this was going to be over a million dollars because it's a small patient population," said Dr. Steve Miller, chief medical officer of Express Scripts, a company working with Spark Therapeutics on some of its services, according to Forbes. "To be very frank, they've hit on a responsible price. Is it inexpensive? Absolutely not. But it's responsible."

Spark Therapeutics has devised a set of payment and access programs to make Luxturna more accessible while removing additional costs and risks that may face insurers and hospitals, CNBC News said.

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A rare form of blindness is the target of one of the world's most expensive medicines. Luxturna, a new gene therapy drug comes with a $850,000 price tag after drugmaker Spark Therapeutics lowered the price from $1 million.
luxturna, gene, therapy, blindness
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2018-19-03
Wednesday, 03 January 2018 01:19 PM
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