$2 MILLION FOR ONE INJECTION: The Most Expensive Drug in the World

Leave a Comment / Uncategorized / By Chase Hutchison

 

The World’s Most Expensive Drug

As of May 24, the Food and Drug Administration approved what is being called “the most expensive drug in the world”. This drug, Zolgensma, developed by Novartis, a healthcare company based in Switzerland, is meant to treat children with spinal muscular atrophy. However, while this is a great success for the medical world, it costs $2.13 million for one injection.

Who’s the Real Winner Here?

Yes, Novartis should be applauded for developing a remedy to spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that can lead to loss of muscle function, and even death, in extreme cases. But, it cannot be ignored that this one-time drug costs a whopping $2 million. This has been an ongoing trend in the medical world—discovering a groundbreaking new drug that can save lives but then selling it at an astonishingly high price.

Continuing the Pattern

Although I understand the time, dedication, and resources that it takes to invent a new drug as important as this, does it really validate the decision to price this drug at $2 million, knowing that it can save children’s lives? This has not been the only case of this. Actimmune, a drug that helps those with chronic granulomatous disease, is priced at $52,000 a month. Daraprim, an antiparasitic, costs over $800 for one pill. Chenodal, a tablet that helps those with gallbladders who cannot withstand surgery, is about $49,000 for one hundred tablets.

At What Cost?

The inflation of prices in the healthcare industry has been and continues to be a major problem. Novartis’ ridiculous $2.13 million pricing for Zolgensma is only perpetuating it. This recent event begs the question: What good is a life-saving drug if nobody can afford it?