Dec 20, 2019

A lottery for the most expensive drug in the world

Novartis is giving away about 100 doses a year of the most expensive drug in the world, Zolgensma — a gene therapy that cures children of a deadly disease, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: The free drug will be offered via a lottery system, which some patient groups say is inappropriate and unfair, as it fails to account for need.

  • The program is designed to make the drug accessible to a limited number of patients outside of the U.S. There's a high demand for the $2.1 million drug in countries where it hasn't yet been approved.

My thought bubble: This is great news for a lucky few patients, but it's not a long-term solution to the world's issues with access to pricey drugs.

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