Are $3M gene ther­a­pies the new nor­mal? Ex­perts say blue­bird will be a test case for a mar­ket ready for prime time

Drug pric­ing ex­perts gen­er­al­ly agree that blue­bird bio’s two re­cent­ly ap­proved gene ther­a­pies and their mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar price tags aren’t go­ing to be one-offs as a wave of new cell and gene ther­a­pies makes its way to the mar­ket.

The FDA’s re­cent ap­provals for blue­bird’s $2.8 mil­lion Zyn­te­glo — with ICER sup­port­ing the price and an 80% re­bate if pa­tients don’t achieve trans­fu­sion in­de­pen­dence — and the $3 mil­lion Skysona, ap­proved un­der ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval, are like­ly to be the norm for gene ther­a­py prices mov­ing for­ward, par­tic­u­lar­ly if they can re­duce costs else­where in the health care ecosys­tem, ex­perts said.

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