Germany Hesitates Over the World's First $1 Million Drug

German health authorities are debating whether the price of Europe's first approved gene therapy is worth the $1 million price tag.

German health authorities are debating whether the price of Europe's first approved gene therapy is worth the $1 million price tag.

The price tag for UniQure NV of Amsterdam's Glybera reflects the fact that it is given just once and targes a disease that afflicts only 200 people in Europe. Germany's Federal Joint Committee has asked for more data on safety and efficacy before it starts a new assessment in June 2016. Glybera has not been submitted to US regulators yet.

UniQure's chief executive officer, Jorn Aldag, told Bloomberg Business that the cost of Glybera should be compared with other orphan drugs that target rare diseases. On average these drugs cost about $250,000 a year, but with a study of 19 patients showing that Glybera was effective over 6 years, the drug's $1 million price tag is equivalent to less than $170,000 a year, Bloomberg reported.

Read more at Bloomberg Business: http://bloom.bg/1Ah2M9E