Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Physician Dr. Peter Bach recently took aim at Novartis’ pricing of its breakthrough gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Zolgensma, in a recent Health Affairs blog post.
Novartis “deviated from essential standards of health economic evaluations” after setting the drug’s price at $2.1 million, Bach writes, including:
- Heterogeneity of benefit across sub-groups;
- Effects on longevity and quality of life;
- Inflationary attribution of cost savings; and
- Misaligned time horizons of payments and expected benefits.
“[The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review] recommended $900,000 per treatment, based on the benchmark of $150,000 per quality-adjusted life year in patients with symptomatic type 1 SMA, the most common presentation of the condition today,” Bach writes. “That would have been an appropriate place to start.”
To read the full blog post, click here.