IEN NOW: The Cost of Curing Blindness

Typically, a cure for blindness would be cause for celebration. But unfortunately the medical device and pharmaceutical sectors of manufacturing work a little differently. Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics received FDA approval for Luxturna in December. Luxturna is a one-time treatment for a form of mutation-associated retinal dystrophy. This inherited mutation specifically effects a gene called RPE65, and results in blindness. Luxturna is the first and only approved treatment for this disease, but it carries a price tag of $425,000 … per eye. The price, which industry analysts actually agree is pretty reasonable, stems from the fact that there are less than 2,000 potential patients in the U.S. Also, because it’s a one-time treatment, Spark lacks the ability to spread payments

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