A one-time treatment with Luxturna, the first US Food and Drug Administration-approved gene therapy for an inherited retinal disorder, will cost $425,000 per eye.
It is administered in a single dose, according to its manufacturer, Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics.
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It will retail for $425,000 per eye, which is less than the $1 million price tag that had been expected before the company received FDA approval in mid-December. The announcement comes amid a growing debate in the United States over the high cost of medicine, particularly for supposedly innovative treatments.
Anticipating criticism, Spark promised to reimburse patients if the treatment proves not to be effective, and said it expects US health authorities to authorize payment in stages.
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In doing so, the company is following the lead of Novartis, which sells Kymriah, a treatment for a very aggressive form of leukemia in children and young adults. The Swiss drug maker has pledged to reimburse insurers and patients if the $475,000 drug doesn’t work.