Jun 14, 2019

Another gene therapy commands $1.8 million price tag

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.

Yes, but: Bluebird will only collect that full price if the treatment is effective in patients after 5 years, the company said. Health insurers essentially will pay $357,000 per year.

Go deeper: The drug pricing debate is stuck in the past

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The new labor movement

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on working people, who are increasingly banding together to put pressure on employers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues they're facing on the job.

Why it matters: After years of declining union membership, a new labor movement is rising, amplified by the power of social media and fueled by concerns that workers deemed essential during the crisis are putting their lives at risk to ensure the well-being of others.

Medicaid will be a coronavirus lifeline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Medicaid will be a lifeline for droves of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Medicaid has long been the safety net that catches people during hard times, but a crisis of this magnitude will call upon the program — and strain states' budgets — like never before.

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Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Rich sheltered, poor shafted amid virus

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey. Margin of error ±2.8 points for full sample. Margin for subgroups ranges from ±5 to ±9 points. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality.

  • Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Driving the news: This sobering reality emerges from Week 3 of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Go deeperArrow43 mins ago - Health