Health insurer Cigna stated Thursday it had launched a plan to cowl costs for costly gene therapies fully, eliminating any out-of-pocket bills for customers.
Gene therapies, which generally aim to deal with diseases by manipulating genes at a cellular level, are among the most expensive treatments on this planet.
While there are solely two approved gene therapies in America, drug manufacturers have been pouring in millions of dollars into the development of those treatments that could provide a potential one-time therapy to rare and life-threatening problems.
The first two gene therapies to be involved in Cigna’s plan are blindness remedy, luxturna, and the costliest drug on the earth Novartis’ $2.1 million spinal muscular atrophy remedy, Zolgensma, the insurer said.
Spark therapeutics and Novartis’ Luxturna, the first-accepted gene remedy in America, has been criticized for its price tag of $850,000, or $425,000 per eye.
Additional therapies could also be added to the program, and it can leverage the expertise of its pharmacy benefits manager express scripts, which it acquired for $54 billion in 2018, Cigna stated.
The initiative comes about a year after reports came that Specific Scripts was in talks with biotechnology companies to have its specialty pharmaceutical enterprise distribute their new gene therapies after they become available.