What could you buy with €1,1M euros? A house? Or a single prescription for a new drug… The first gene therapy drug “Glybera” is set to go on sale in Germany with a €1.1 million price tag, a new record for a medicine to treat a rare disease. And this drug from UniQure is not the only one in the pipelines since other major Biotech/Pharma companies are working on.
The sky-high cost of Glybera, from Dutch biotech firm UniQure and its unlisted Italian marketing partner Chiesi, shows how single curative therapies to fix faulty genes may upend the conventional pharmaceutical business model. And yes, it is easily the most expensive medicine ever developed. However, if you have the rare disease which this newly developed gene therapy treats, you might be willing to sell everything you have to get your hands on it. Maybe that price offsets the immense cost required to make this drug, but nobody really knows, though, and that has every other pharmaceutical company a bit confused and very irate.