Germany first in EU to get Novartis’ SMA gene therapy, costing almost 2m euros

Novartis is set to launch its one-off gene therapy Zolgensma for the ultra-rare muscle-wasting disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in Germany at the start of July priced at 1,945,000 euros, and says it hopes to reach a “smart deal” allowing UK patients access by the end of the year. The European Commission granted a conditional marketing authorisation for Zolgensma at the end of last month, covering children and babies weighing up to 21 kg with the most severe form of the muscle wasting disease. Newly-launched drugs enjoy a year of free pricing in Germany, before the country’s AMNOG cost-effectiveness system assesses their benefits compared with standard care and sets a price. The company is also engaged in private discussions with payers in other European countries in the build-up to other national launches, the company told pharmaphorum. AveXis has priced Zolgensma at around $2.1 million in the US and $1.55 million in Japan. Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec) is already considered to be the world’s most expensive drug.

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