The emergence of genetics-based medicines is pushing the cost of treating certain diseases to new levels, forcing hospitals and health insurers to reckon with how to cover total costs per patient approaching a million dollars.
The therapies deliver new genes or genetically altered cells to tackle some of the hardest-to-treat diseases, including in children. They come at a high price: Novartis AG listed its newly approved cell therapy for cancer at $475,000, while Gilead Sciences Inc. priced its rival drug at $373,000.
But the price of the drugs is just the beginning, hospitals and insurers say. Administering these therapies can add hundreds of thousands of dollars to the tab, including lengthy hospital stays and use of other services and medicines. Read more.