Biogen’s treatment for spinal muscular atrophy Spinraza (nusinersen) passed the Korean health insurance agency’s review for reimbursement, sources said.
The disease affects motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, causing patients to be unable to walk, eat, or breathe.
Sources in the medical community said the Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service (HIRA) held a meeting of the pharmaceutical reimbursement assessment committee on Thursday and concluded that the HIRA could allow Spinraza to benefit from insurance coverage.
Earlier, the committee had not authorized the reimbursement due to the high price of Spinraza, which costs over 1 million won ($88,902) per injection.
The panel reportedly concluded after judging that the treatment’s efficacy was superior enough to be highly priced and there was no alternative drug.
The committee has not reached a consensus yet over whether the government would have a risk sharing agreement (RSA) with Biogen for Spiranza. HIRA is likely to discuss the issue during price negotiations with the drugmaker.
After HIRA reports the results of the panel’s review to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, the ministry orders HIRA to carry out drug price negotiations for 60 days.
The reimbursement assessment panel also stayed positive on expanding reimbursement for Lynparza, ovarian cancer drug by AstraZeneca. Currently, the period of health insurance coverage for Lynparza is limited to 15 months.
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