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The CHF4 million treatment for a genetic disease

This year, Swiss invalidity insurance started paying for the drug Spinraza from Biogen to treat children with spinal muscular atrophy, SMA, a genetic disease affecting the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. Thirteen years of treatment costs CHF3.8 million per patient. 

This content was published on November 30, 2018 - 13:28

Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant, Novartis, now wants to put out a similar drug for around the same price. Nicole Gusset from the SMA patients' association wants the treatment to be approved in Switzerland, but says price setting needs to be far more transparent.

Swiss Public Television, SRF, meets SMA patient, Fiorello, who's been receiving Spinraza for a year. His parents say he is much more alert during the day, he can now breathe unaided for much longer and can move his hand again. Up until now, many children with SMA would have died before reaching the age of two, due to a lack of effective treatments.


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