Ontario’s government said it will cover Biogen’s costly spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) drug Spinraza (nusinersen) but with an age cap.
The drug is approved in Canada for Type I, II and III SMA— the most severe forms of the disease—as well as its pre-symptomatic form. There is no specified age cap for Type I patients, but those will Type II and III will have the cost of the treatment covered by the government until age 18. Coverage for other patients with Type I and II SMA may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Spinraza comes with a hefty price tag. In a confidential deal with the drugmaker, the pricing in Ontario depends on how many patients seek treatment and the number of doses needed. In the U.S., a patient’s first year costs $750,000, followed by $375,000 for each additional year.