Biopartnering Seminar Series - Developing Pricing Models for Gene Therapies: Zolgensma - by Pentallect
Abstract: Novartis’ new gene therapy, Zolgensma, is intended to be a one-time treatment for a rare genetic disorder, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) in patients under the age of 2. However, its inaccessible 2.1 million USD price tag has received harsh criticism. Novartis justifies the price due to the high cost of development and the value Zolgensma delivers in comparison to current treatment options. In countries where the therapy is not approved, Novartis has adopted a lottery-style program where 100 free doses are randomly distributed to affected children. However, global health and safety leaders have stated that this is not a viable model. It is in the interest of the Canadian government, and by extension, governments across the globe, to improve the accessibility of affordable treatments to meet their citizens’ needs while maintaining their status as a global leader in innovation. This presentation explores pricing models that Novartis can adopt for their Zolgensma franchise, which may be applied to other expensive gene therapies. Models from a variety of industries, including entertainment, telecommunications, and real-estate were considered and assessed for feasibility in the pharmaceutical industry. The viewpoints of key stakeholders including the Canadian government, Novartis, and patients were analyzed to ultimately construct an effective and feasible model that offers the highest collective benefit for all parties involved. Our final model incorporates outcomes assessments and payment instalments to address the lack of long-term data on Zolgensma, allow greater flexibility in the government’s healthcare budget, and allow Novartis to demonstrate continued commitment to patient care.