The Swiss drug manufacturer Novartis has received permission to market the drug Zolgensma, a gene therapy for SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), a fatal muscle disease for children. A treatment costs $ 2.1 million, making it the most expensive drug in the world.

“This is potentially the new treatment method for babies with the most serious form of SMA,” said Emmaunelle Tiongson, pediatric neurologist at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital, to Reuters news agency, which Zolgensma applied to its patients. “It is now important to convince insurers that this is a long-term saving.”

Novartis defends the high price by stating that this one-off treatment is cheaper than expensive long-term treatments that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. The drug manufacturer assumes that the treatment costs around $ 5 million per patient.

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