Novartis' SMA gene therapy would not be cost-effective if priced over $1.5M: ICER
FiercePharma | April 04, 2019
The pricing analysis done by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Research (ICER) on new therapies for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) has been no small undertaking. One of the therapies ICER reviewed—Zolgensma from Novartis’ AveXis unit—isn't yet FDA-approved or priced, forcing the influential agency to assess it using hypothetical price ranges. Now, after considering input from Novartis, ICER has released its final word on the subject—and it hasn't changed. The agency stood by its initial assessment, saying a price of $900,000 or so would make the most sense, but it definitely shouldn't carry a price higher than $1.5 million. The FDA is expected to decide on Zolgensma in May, and Novartis will reveal its pricing plans then. But Dave Lennon, president of AveXis, has already had plenty to say on the subject. Lennon, who argues that gene therapy cures need an entirely different type of evaluation, created quite a stir last year when he said the gene therapy would be cost-effective at $4 million to $5 million.