HARTFORD, Conn., (WTNH)– Connecticut Children’s announced that it is now the first hospital in the state to be in contract with Cigna’s Gene Therapy Program on Friday.
The Cigna Gene Therapy Program will give covered families have immediate access to the therapy, and have affordable options for previously expensive gene therapy medication.
Families covered by Cigna can more want gene therapy for children with spinal muscular atrophy while avoiding $2 million worth of medicine. According to Cigna’s website, the provided medicine will be available to covered families for less than $1 a month.
“Connecticut Children’s is committed to finding innovative treatments for devastating diseases, but at a price that won’t bankrupt families,” said Jim Shmerling, DHA, FACHE, President & CEO of Connecticut Children’s. “We have an obligation to all children to ensure they can access to the specialists and cutting edge treatments they need at all times.”
Expensive therapies for rare diseases are posing a challenge for healthcare. As shown in reports, many families have to make difficult decisions in order to pay for the necessary medicine. EvaluatePharma research shows that by 2024, the cost of gene therapy in the U.S. will be over $16 billion.
“As drug prices continue to climb, we have an obligation to work for our patients and families and continue advocating on their behalf to the insurance companies and lawmakers,” said Shmerling. “All children deserve access to these kinds of therapies.”