The Atlantic

When a Treatment Costs $450,000 or More, It Had Better Work

Some biotech companies are offering a new way to soften the shock of drug prices: Insurers pay only if the patient improves.
Source: Franck Fife / AFP / Getty

Biotech companies aren’t just inventing dazzling new treatments. They’re also getting creative about how to charge for them. Bluebird Bio, a Boston-based firm that’s developing a gene therapy to cure the inherited blood disorder thalassemia, in January that it would divide its yet-to-be-released price into five yearly installment payments. The company estimates the value of the treatment at $2.1 million a patient, and hints that the price will be “considerably below” to “just below” that figure. After covering the first installment, the insurer can wait to see if a patient improves before continuing

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic5 min readPsychology
Dear Therapist: My Fiancé Believes Spanking Is Good Parenting
His parents spanked him as a child, and he insists the punishment has shaped him positively.
The Atlantic6 min readSociety
What I Learned About Equal Partnership By Studying Dual-Income Couples
I studied over 100 dual-income couples and found that the ones who managed to create partnerships that felt truly equal had a few things in common.
The Atlantic3 min readPolitics
After Poland, No Democracy Is Safe
Democracy was on the ballot yesterday in Poland. It suffered a stinging defeat that will have consequences far beyond the country’s borders. For decades, political scientists regarded Poland as the great success story of the transition from communism