Drugs

Another gene therapy commands $1.8 million price tag

Nick Leschly, CEO of Bluebird Bio, stands in a lab.
Bluebird Bio CEO Nick Leschly. Photo: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The price of Zynteglo, a new gene therapy made by Bluebird Bio, will be almost €1.6 million ($1.8 million) in Europe, the company said Friday. Bluebird expects to get FDA approval for Zynteglo next year and to price it similarly in the U.S., Reuters reports.

The big picture: Zynteglo becomes the second-most expensive drug in the world behind Zolgensma, the $2.1 million gene therapy made by Novartis.

The war on drugs anchors prison profits

Marijuana plants are lined up in a driveway.
Marijuana plants lined up in a driveway. Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post/Getty Images

For-profit prison companies boomed alongside the war on drugs, which led to a 171% increase in drug arrests between 1980 and 2016.

By the numbers: About 1.6 million people were arrested on drug-related charges in 2017, roughly 85% of which were possession-related.