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New Blindness Treatment to Cost $850,000

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It’s one of the most expensive drugs ever produced.

A newly approved treatment for a genetic form of blindness will cost $850,000, Bloomberg reports.

Luxturna, developed by Spark Therapeutics, recently received the OK from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It treats a rare inherited disorder called retinal dystrophy, which affects 1,000 to 2,000 people in the U.S.

Luxturna is a one-time treatment that involves injecting a replacement gene into the retina, the Associated Press reports. It costs $425,000 per eye.

AP describes the breakthrough treatment as “one of the most expensive medicines in the world” and notes that it is prompting questions about “the affordability of a coming wave of similar gene-targeting therapies.”

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Bloomberg notes that Spark Therapeutics is working out unique arrangements with insurers, such as “discounts based on whether or not the drug works initially and remains effective.” It may also allow payments for the medication to be made over time.

Read more at Bloomberg

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