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A new drug treating a rare form of blindness will cost $850,000. Photo: Courtesy of Spark Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics is charging $850,000 for its recently approved gene therapy drug, Luxturna, which treats a rare eye condition that leads to blindness. The actual price will be lower after Spark negotiates discounts with health insurers, but uninsured patients and people with high deductibles and coinsurance rates pay based on the list price.

Why it matters: Luxturna is now the most expensive drug on the market, although many other rare-disease drugs also cost more than $500,000.

More details: The drug company said it is working with insurers to offer rebates if Luxturna doesn't work, and it is talking with the federal government to allow insurers to pay for the therapy over several years instead of having to make one large upfront payment.

Go deeper: The $850,000 price tag for Luxturna is above what is considered to be a fair, value-based price, according to a draft analysis from a group that evaluates drug prices.

Go deeper

27 mins ago - Axios on HBO

Preview: "Axios on HBO" interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond

On the next episode of "Axios on HBO," Axios co-founder Mike Allen interviews White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond.

  • Catch the full interview and much more on Sunday, February 28 at 6 pm. ET/PT on all HBO platforms.
2 hours ago - World

Italy tightens COVID restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants

Health workers prepare vaccine doses in Iseo, Italy. Photo: Stefano Nicoli/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Italy on Saturday announced it was tightening restrictions in five of the country's 20 regions in an effort curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Driving the news: The announcement comes as health experts and scientists warn of the more transmissible coronavirus variants, per Reuters.

3 hours ago - Health

Health care in the New Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As America emerges from the pandemic, here's a special Axios AM Deep Dive on the Biden administration's health care agenda.

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