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YposKesi, a pharmaceutical company produces gene and cell therapy drugs for rare diseases. Photo: Erix Piermont/AFP/Getty Images

There are hundreds of gene therapies in the development pipeline, raising the question of how these drugs — which could have price tags upwards of $1 million — will be paid for, and whether our system is built to handle that, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Details: These gene therapies could treat or cure illnesses that currently cost the system even more over time, via long-term maintenance drugs.

  • Other drugs serve small populations and have huge benefits. Luxturna, a drug that's already approved, treats a hereditary disease that causes blindness, but has a list price of $425,000 per eye.
  • Wall Street expects that these drugs will generate billions in revenue.

But even if these costs are justified, our health care system isn't designed for large, one-time payments.

  • Medicare and Medicaid aren't allowed to pay for drugs in installments.
  • Private insurers usually only insure a patient for a few years at a time. This means they don't reap the long-term savings from these therapies.

Go deeper: What to watch for with gene therapy

Go deeper

Updated 14 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."