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a white dna strand over a red medical cross

The multimillion-dollar costs of gene therapies -- the type that the state of California is helping to finance -- received some national, mainstream attention during the last few weeks. 

A story in the New York Times on Jan. 24 used the example of Zolgensma -- once the world’s most expensive therapy at a cost of $2.1 million -- to zero in on the issues involved. The story’s headlines said, 

‘A Dilemma for Governments: How to Pay for Million-Dollar Therapies

“A wave of transformative but hugely expensive treatments is challenging the budgets of health systems in wealthy nations. Now countries with far fewer resources are wrestling with how to cover the therapies.”

Rebecca Robbins and Stephanie Nolen wrote, “Among the most unaffordable are gene therapies such as Zolgensma that promise to transform inherited disorders with a one-time treatment.

“Zolgensma’s list price of $2.1 million in the United States in 2019, believed to be the highest ever when it was set, has since been surpassed four times, and many more treatments expected to be as expensive are on the horizon.”