Gene therapy

The drug pricing debate steps into the future

Sen. Chuck Grassley
Sen. Chuck Grassley. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The Senate is working on a proposal that would allow state Medicaid programs to pay for new gene therapies over time, and tie those payments to patients' outcomes.

Why it matters: Tying payments to how well drugs work, on this scale, would be an enormous policy change. But some experts are skeptical, saying such a model would perpetuate high prices.

New gene therapy has $1.8 million price tag

The price of Zynteglo, a new gene therapy made by Bluebird Bio to treat a rare genetic blood disorder, will be almost €1.6 million ($1.8 million) in Europe, the company said Friday.

What's happening: Bluebird expects to get FDA approval for Zynteglo next year and to price it similarly in the U.S., Reuters reports.